County Attorney Bio

Pete OrputPete Orput was elected as the Washington County Attorney in 2011 and re-elected in 2015.

Immediately prior to that he was an assistant county attorney in the violent crime unit of the Hennepin County Attorney's office where he prosecuted violent offenders for murder, robbery and serious domestic assaults.

Prior positions include:

  • Director of Policy and Legal Services for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. In that position, he supervised parole hearing officers in the Hearings and Release unit as well as oversaw the department's Records, Policies and Contracts, and Legal Services sections. Pete also served as general counsel to the Commissioner of Corrections.
  • Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Public Protection Section of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. In that capacity, he oversaw the criminal prosecution, criminal appeals, predatory offender and public safety divisions. As Deputy Attorney General, Pete directed 48 prosecutors and staff in providing prosecution assistance to county attorneys throughout the state.
  • Lead gang prosecutor with the Minnesota Attorney General, where he prosecuted gang homicides, racketeering and drug distribution rings throughout the state of Minnesota. Pete’s expertise in gang and organized criminal cases led to significant appellate court rulings that led to the approval of gang expert testimony and evidence of gang membership in criminal trials. Pete also tried the first three-defendant joint murder trial in state history resulting in convictions against all three violent gang members for two murders and a first degree assault. For his prosecution efforts, Pete was recognized by the City of St. Paul with a resolution and a plaque.
  • Prior to serving as deputy, Pete managed the criminal prosecution division of the Attorney General's office. In that role, he directed a team of prosecutors in trying serious violent crimes, fraud and environmental cases throughout the state. After one year as division manager, Peter had, despite a cutback in staffing, doubled the number of prosecution referrals brought to the office by county attorneys, including many who previously had not called upon the Attorney General for assistance with complex or violent criminal prosecutions.
  • Long-time faculty member of the National District Attorneys Association, for whom he frequently teaches Trial Advocacy III, Cross-Examination and Pretrial Advocacy at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Board of Directors
  • Lecturer at numerous functions and in various teaching positions
  • Author of numerous articles for
    • The National District Attorneys Association
    • International Gang Investigators Conference
    • Minnesota County Attorneys Association and
    • Many other journals, magazines and newspapers related to law enforcement.
  • Co-author of two practice manuals, Arson Investigation and Prosecution and Gang Prosecution, published and distributed throughout the nation by the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.
  • Former chair of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Education Foundation, as well as a member of the association's Police Officer Training Committee. Pete authored two teaching sections for the committee's Police Officer Training Manual: Evidence Concepts & Courtroom Testimony For Law Enforcement and Methods of Teaching.
  • Chair of the criminal law section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, as well as member of their Board of Governors
  • President of the Washington County Bar Association
  • Founder of the Mille Lacs County Bar Association
  • Legal counsel to the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, which he has done since 1994.

Pete is a husband, the father of three, a former high school social studies teacher and served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He enjoys traveling, reading and teaching.