Embattled Stillwater mayor won't run for re-election

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 11:42 PM
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Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

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Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki, whose private accounting business was raided by Internal Revenue Service agents in March, said Wednesday that he won’t run for a third term this fall.

“Ten years is enough,” he said of his public service. “It is time to turn this position over to the next generation.”

Harycki was elected mayor in 2006 after serving on the City Council, and narrowly re-elected in 2010. His current term expires Jan. 1.

Among his accomplishments, he said, was helping to secure a new St. Croix River bridge and participating in efforts to bring flood protection to downtown, create a state trail on the old Minnesota Zephyr corridor, plan a new city fire station, and maintain a flat city budget.

Harycki has said little in recent weeks about the search warrant executed at Customized Payroll Solutions, other than to comment through a spokesman that it involved a former client. He’s neither identified the client nor elaborated on what was taken from his office.

Harycki’s business provides tax preparation services, including corporate tax preparation and other accounting and business management services, according to his website.

On March 20, several agents from the IRS and the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department sifted through his business records and loaded confiscated boxes and a computer tower into a government vehicle. No charges have been filed in connection with the raid, but federal authorities have said the matter remains under investigation.

Harycki was heavily involved in lobbying efforts to build the new four-lane bridge to move interstate commuter traffic out of Stillwater and close the 1931 Lift Bridge for use instead as a pedestrian crossing. He also fell into controversy when he and three other City Council members voted to give $80,000 in city funds to a pro-bridge coalition — which Harycki co-chaired — without a contract.

A state auditor review determined that the transaction was illegal.

Meantime, first-term City Council Member Ted Kozlowski announced that he would run for the mayor’s job in the November election.

 

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037

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