In a letter to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, DFL state Rep. Dan Schoen -- a licensed peace officer -- says that two GOP legislators caught up in a controversy surrounding their run-in with a park ranger should apologize after appearing to change their story.
Late last month, a Dakota County Sheriff park ranger issued nuisance citations to Rep. Tara Mack of Apple Valley and Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing after the officer found their cars parked askew in a parking lot at Lebanon Hills Regional Park.
In a write-up of the incident, the officer said Kelly and Mack were making out. Both are married to other people. In initial media reports, Mack and Kelly disputed the truth of the officer's story and said they were there to exchange work papers. But several days later, they dropped plans to fight the citationss and paid respective $260 nuisance fines.
"Under Minnesota law, the payment of a citation is equivalent to a guilty plea," Schoen, DFL-Cottage Grove, wrote in his letter to Daudt, R-Crown. With that in mind, Schoen said Mack and Kelly should retract their story that the ranger lied.
"I find it very disappointing that Rep. Mack and Rep. Kelly would try to harm the credibility of this law enforcement official just to rescue their own," Schoen wrote.
A spokeswoman for the House Republican Caucus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.