Longtime prosecutor to take reigns as county attorney

Published 9:56 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

A longtime local prosecutor will begin a new journey next month as lead county attorney.

David Walker, 53, will assume the position of Freeborn County attorney Oct. 1 after the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners approved his appointment Tuesday.

Walker will replace Craig Nelson, who will retire after 25 years in the position later this month.

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As Freeborn County attorney, Walker will represent the county in cases, advise the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners and county officials, as well as play a central role in prosecuting crime.

Walker said he will face a new challenge, but expects to be successful in addressing drainage law and municipal contracting, as well as county ordinances and resolutions.

Originally from the Milwaukee area, Walker graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a philosophy degree, and graduated law school at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to moving to Albert Lea, Walker was a prosecutor in the Army, assigned to the 10th Mountain Light Infantry Division in Fort Drum, New York.

Walker has been with the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office for 24 years.

In his spare time, Walker enjoys reading, playing piano, walking with his wife, Wendy, and their dog, as well as working out and playing some basketball and video games.

Walker said he appreciates the different aspects of being a prosecutor.

“As a prosecutor I have always had the duty and the obligation to do the right thing,” Walker said. “And so often in the things that we do there are other things that can interfere with your decision or other things that demand your attention. As a prosecutor, you can focus on doing the right thing, and that is something that I have always enjoyed about prosecution.”

David and Wendy Walker have a daughter, Whitney, a 2010 graduate of Albert Lea High School, and Jonah, a senior at Albert Lea High School.

Walker has been involved with different aspects of the community through his church, through Cub Scouts, as an attorney coach for mock trial and as a member of a day care board.

He described being an attorney as an excellent profession.

“It’s a challenging job in that it gives you difficult work to do in the courtroom, but it is also very rewarding in that you are doing what you believe is right, and I believe we have some good professionals to work with here,” he said.

Walker will serve the remaining balance of Nelson’s term. The term is scheduled to end the first Monday in January 2019.

The county attorney’s office also handles cases regarding school truancy, child protection, parental rights, child support, paternity and treatment for children and vulnerable adults.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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