Community leadership awards to honor a brave girl, a school social worker and other leaders


The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will present its Community Leadership Awards Friday and will honor former Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will introduce Johnson. Along with County Attorney Mike Freeman, all the county attorneys since 1979 will be present.
“This will be a wonderful day, and not just because of the distinguished former county attorneys on hand,” Freeman said. “Our other recipients represent the best in our county and their selflessness has made Hennepin County a better place to live and work.”

The other award winner are:
• Suzanne Tema, a social worker at Roosevelt High School who for 19 years has helped children and their parents create healthy, productive homes and therefore, healthy students.

• Thalia Williams, an 11-year-old girl who bravely testified in the case against the man who brutally beat and stabbed her father. Then, less than a week after the man was sentenced to 20 years in prison, she recognized a soda pop bottle on a sidewalk in the neighborhood as a bomb and convinced her mother to call police, who came and detonated the device.

• Ellen Krug, executive director of Call for Justice, LLC, an organization dedicated to helping connect low income people with legal resources. She also spent three years as co-chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association Diversity Committee.  Krug was a successful founder of a law firm and tried more than 100 trials in her native Iowa and in 2009, Krug transitioned from male to female.

• Chief Stephanie Revering, representing the Crystal Police Department, for their superb work in building such a strong case against Pierre Collins that he pleaded guilty to murdering his son Barway and is now spending 40 years in prison.

• Judith Johnson, a senior attorney in the county attorney’s office who successfully prosecuted some of the office’s toughest cases, ran the Child Protection Division and most recently, started the office’s training department.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. Friday, October 2 in the Hennepin County Commissioner’s board room on the 24th floor of the administration tower, 300 South Sixth St. in Minneapolis. The public is welcome to attend and the winners will be available for interviews after the awards.