Mark Metz, County Attorney
Mark Metz was elected by the Carver County residents as the Carver County Attorney in 2010, re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Prior to election as the Carver County Attorney, Metz served as an assistant Carver County attorney and assistant McLeod County attorney for eleven years, prosecuting serious felonies in district court, and preparing subsequent appeals at the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court. Metz also has extensive experience in child protection, commitments involving the mentally ill and chemically dependent, and other civil cases.
Metz serves on the Minnesota County Attorney Association’s Board of Directors. Metz is the former chairperson of the Minnesota County Attorney's Urban Board. Working in close collaboration with Minnesota County Attorneys, Metz emphasizes the mutual benefits in the sharing of legal information and increased professional training opportunities for Assistant Carver County Attorneys. For more than a decade, Metz continues to serve as an adjunct law professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Law, teaching appellate advocacy to advanced law students.
Metz’s prior experience has included serving as a volunteer ethics investigator for the Lawyer’s Board of Professional Responsibility and he is a past president of the Eighth District Bar Association. Metz also served on Mitchell Hamline’s alumni board and board of directors for two years.
Under the guidance of the Carver County Attorney, Chief Deputy Peter Ivy provides timely and accurate legal advice to all Carver County divisions on both procedural and substantive legal matters. Peter assists in directing operational day-to-day activities of the office, including overseeing legal and policy interpretation and development. Under the direction of the County Attorney, Peter monitors the scope, goals, and performance of all managers, attorneys, and non-supervisory staff.
Having prosecuted criminal cases since 1988, Peter has achieved notable trial success including a high profile four-defendant first-degree murder case involving matricide. Peter prosecuted Carver County’s first criminal gang homicide and first methamphetamine manufacturing prosecution. More generally, Peter has successfully prosecuted numerous complex cases involving manslaughter, child abuse, criminal vehicular operation, and sexual assault. Peter has successfully argued many appellate and post-conviction proceedings, including successful results in the Minnesota Supreme Court cases of State v. Everson and State v. Diamond. Peter continues to handle a criminal caseload.
Appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, Peter serves on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. In this role, Peter assists in the oversight of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and acts in a quasi-judicial function when conducting evidentiary proceedings concerning allegations of unprofessional conduct by attorneys. Peter serves as the Lawyer's Board State Chair for all Minnesota District Ethics Committees. In addition, he serves as the Chair of the Minnesota County Attorney's Association Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee provides ethics training as well as giving timely and confidential ethics opinions to individual prosecutors across Minnesota.
John Rekow joined the Carver County Attorney’s Office in 2011 as the Law Office Manager. He oversees the support staff consisting of eight Legal Administrative Assistants and one Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining the office, John has worked in healthcare, retail, television and owned small business with his father. His grandfather O.O. Rekow served as Registrar of Deeds for Carver County for over thirty years.
John graduated from Chaska High School and received his Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College. He and his family reside in Chaska.
Kevin Hill is an Assistant County Attorney in the adult criminal division. Prior to joining the Carver County Attorney’s Office, Kevin served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Mary B. Mahler in Stearns County, Minnesota. Kevin is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas (2011) and William Mitchell College of Law (2014), where he participated in the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court and served on Law Review. He currently serves on the Minnesota DWI Task Force and the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association Appellate Committee.
Michelle Johnson is an Assistant County Attorney in the adult criminal division. Prior to joining Carver County Attorney’s Office, Michelle served as an Assistant Freeborn County Attorney. Michelle also served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Shereen Askalani in Hennepin County. She graduated summa cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and received a B.S. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Jennifer Christensen is the Juvenile Division Manager. She prosecutes juvenile delinquency matters and child protection cases. She joined the Juvenile Division in 2008, beginning her Division Manager role in 2018. Christensen handles a variety of cases for the division. This includes matters ranging from petty offenses, such as curfew violations, to felony level delinquency offenses. Christensen also works with Social Services in bringing actions to protect abused and neglected children. These actions include petitions to address children who are truant from school, children in need of protection and services, abused and neglected children, and petitions to terminate parental rights.
Christensen is a member of the Carver County Children’s Justice Initiative, the Carver County Child Mortality Review Board, the Carver County Child Protection Consultation Team, the Carver County Child Protection Investigations Team, and the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association Juvenile Law Committee for both Delinquency and Child Protection. She also consults with and provides advice to law enforcement and other county agencies.
Prior to joining Carver County, Christensen was a judicial law clerk for Judge Daniel H. Mabley in the Fourth Judicial District. Christensen graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 2006, where she served on the Law Review from 2004 to 2006.
Ms. Tichey is the Civil Division Manager. She has been practicing law for over 13 years, leading the Civil Division for the past 3 ½ years. After receiving her J.D. with honors from William Mitchell College of Law, Tichey joined the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for a one-year contract position in the Public Finance and Opinions Division. Tichey then spent two years working in the Civil Division of the Scott County Attorney’s Office in Shakopee. During that time, she handled property tax appeals, criminal appellate work, and property forfeitures for DWI, drug, and prostitution offenses. For the next eight years, Tichey worked as an Associate City Attorney for the City of Bloomington, primarily in the Civil Division. In this position, Tichey drafted and negotiated the City’s contracts, continued her work with DWI property forfeitures, pursued property and building code violations, and represented several of the City’s departments.
As the Civil Division Manager, Tichey is responsible for assisting the County Attorney in advising and representing the County Board of Commissioners and other County Divisions on all civil legal matters. She provides legal advice to County officials on employment law, real estate acquisition and she initiates civil litigation to acquire land for road improvements. Ms. Tichey also provides supervision in the areas of contracts, environmental law, zoning administration, data privacy, property records, taxation and child support enforcement, among other areas.
Ms. Tichey is a member of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association Civil Law Committee.
Thom Haines is a senior attorney in the Civil Division. As the county HIPAA Privacy Official and the Data Practices Compliance Official, he spends a fair amount of time protecting private government data and working to ensure access to public data. He serves on the Minnesota State Bar Association Data Practices Committee.
Thom is an honors graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota. He has a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is admitted to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and the Tribal Court of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
Unrelated to his work responsibilities, Thom works as a global justice advocate through his church, Mayflower UCC in Minneapolis. In this role, he has travelled to Guatemala, the Philippines, Honduras, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Mexico. He is an Executive Producer on the film Gold Fever, www.goldfevermovie.com, which tells the story of three indigenous women in Guatemala as they struggle with a gold mine coming to their village.
Thom is married with two sons and two grandchildren.
Ms. Shimshak serves as a senior attorney in the Carver County Attorney’s Office. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Mitchell College of Law, and earned a M.S. degree in Journalism and a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During law school, Ms. Shimshak worked as a Certified Student Attorney in the Criminal Division at the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, in the Health and Licensing Division at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and at the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She also served as an Extern to the Honorable Ann. D. Montgomery, a former Judge of the United States District Court, and as an Associate Editor and a Staff Member of William Mitchell Law Review.
After law school, Ms. Shimshak worked as an adult criminal prosecutor for 15 years. She prosecuted serious felonies, and gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors in District Court. She also successfully handled a wide variety of criminal appeals, including an appeal before Minnesota Supreme Court which impacted the practice of prosecutors state-wide.
In the Civil Division, Ms. Shimshak provides legal advice and a variety of other legal services to Administration, the Public Works Division, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Regional Railroad Authority in Carver County.
Ms. Shimshak is an active member of Minnesota Eminent Domain Counsel Association and the Metro County Right-of-Way Professionals.
Patrick Conness has been working on behalf of the people of Minnesota for his entire legal career, with the bulk of that service coming in Carver County. Since coming to Carver County Mr. Conness has worked hard on behalf of the Carver County taxpayers in many ways. Assigned to the County Attorney’s Office Civil Division Patrick Conness is proud of his work forfeiting vehicles from repeat drunk drivers and drug dealers. Likewise, he has he has worked hard to make sure the County stretches its dollars as far as possible through vigorous contract review.
Before coming to Carver County, Patrick Conness clerked in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Hennepin County and worked in another county attorney’s office. Mr. Conness is a passionate public interest lawyer and experienced appellate attorney. In 2002 he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Hamline University School of Law. Patrick Conness’ family makes public service a priority in the community through church, public schools and other non-profits.
Laura Jaunich is an Attorney in the Civil Division. Her practice areas include child support, civil commitments, and land use issues. She serves on the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association Civil Commitment Committee.
Laura is an honors graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Prior to coming to Carver County, Laura was a law clerk in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office Child Support Enforcement Division, and was an Assistant County Attorney in Stearns County.
Laura is married with two daughters.
Joy Beuning is a paralegal with the civil division and supports seven attorneys in their various practice areas. She is certified in healthcare privacy compliance and has over nine years of experience working with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and HIPAA. Joy came back to Carver County from Hennepin County Medical Center where she was the Information Privacy and Security Specialist. She has also worked at SUPERVALU, Wilson’s Leather, Rainforest Café, Inc. and Leonard Street and Deinard.
Carolyn Chambers is a paralegal with the civil division. She graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor of Arts in English then went onto Villanova University to earn her paralegal education and ABA certification. She has worked for a variety of law firms over the last 20 years with the bulk of her experience in family law and civil litigation. She now assists the County Attorneys with their areas of practice which includes general civil, forfeitures, bankruptcies, collections, paternity, child support, civil commitments and administrative appeals. Carolyn also volunteers for Special Olympics Minnesota and Best Buddies Minnesota.
Victim Witness Coordinator
Nancy Yates has served as a victim witness coordinator with the Carver County Attorney’s Office since 1997. In 2019, Yates was promoted to the Division Manager.
Yates works with victims and witnesses in criminal and juvenile court for Carver County Attorney’s Office. Yates’ strength is working with vulnerable victims and she has great skill in coordinating all facets of the criminal justice system to support the victims and prosecutors during the pendency of the criminal case. Yates has taught on issues relating to crime victim rights, victimization and multidisciplinary teams.
Yates is a member of multiple committees and teams and serves as a representative for crime victims.
Yates graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1995. Thereafter, she graduated from the Minnesota Paralegal Institute with a Paralegal Certificate in 1996. Yates is also trained as a crisis counselor.
Yates has volunteered her time with domestic violence and sexual assault agencies and the Courage Center. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Sexual Violence Center.
Donna Storms joined the Carver County Attorney’s office in 2015. She works with victims and witnesses in criminal and juvenile court as a victim witness coordinator. Her caseload includes adult misdemeanor, juvenile, and specialty court cases. Prior to joining the Carver County Attorney’s Office, she worked as a paralegal for 15 years in complex civil litigation in state and federal court, real estate, corporate contracts, and employment law.
Storms graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota with Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Law Enforcement, with a minor in Business Law. She is a trained sexual assault advocate through the Sexual Violence Center, and has completed extensive training on victim services through the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, including crisis intervention and domestic violence.