State Sen. Nicole Mitchell, DFL-Woodbury, sat silently in the front row Wednesday as her lawyer informed an ethics panel that her first-degree burglary case would take months to resolve and that she may plead not guilty next month.

The four-person Senate ethics subcommittee, chaired by Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, met for about 10 minutes before taking no action other than setting the next hearing for July 25 at 11 a.m.

At the urging of the two Republicans on the subcommittee, Sen. Jeremy Miller of Winona and Andrew Mathews of Princeton, the panel left open the option of meeting sooner if the police body-camera footage of Mitchell's April arrest becomes available. Conservative website Alpha News has asked Becker County District Court Judge Gretchen Thilmony to release the footage quickly. The judge has yet to make a decision.

In May, when the panel took up the initial complaint filed by numerous Senate Republicans, Mathews and Miller both agreed there was probable cause that an ethics violation had occurred and they wanted to push forward with an ethics investigation that could result in the finding of a violation. But their effort failed on a tie vote.

The two DFLers, Champion and Sen. Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, wanted to wait for the criminal process to play out.

Mitchell, who has said she doesn't plan to resign from her Senate seat, was initially set to appear in court on Monday, but that date was pushed back to July 1 because her lawyer, Bruce Ringstrom Jr. is in trial. Ringstrom, addressing the panel remotely, said the charge won't be resolved at the next hearing, although he did say Mitchell could enter a not guilty plea on that date.

Ringstrom said he expects the first-degree burglary charge will be pending for months, possibly into November.

Mitchell sat in the front row with another attorney from the firm, Dane DeKrey. She did not address the committee nor did she speak to reporters before or after the session. She was charged with first-degree burglary in April after police arrested her at the Detroit Lakes home her stepmother shared with her late father.

At the time, Mitchell was dressed in black and carrying a flashlight with a sock over it. The first-term senator was arrested in the basement of the home after allegedly having driven from Woodbury after midnight. As she was being detained, she told her stepmother "something to the effect of, 'I was just trying to get a couple of my dad's things because you wouldn't talk to me anymore,'" the charges said.

Through the remaining month of the 2024 legislative session, the DFL majority maintained that Mitchell should remain in her seat to represent her constituents. With a 34-33 majority, they also needed her vote.

After the session wrapped, state DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin and Gov. Tim Walz said Mitchell should resign, as did DFL Sens. Heather Gustafson of Vadnais Heights, Matt Klein of Mendota Heights and Bonnie Westlin of Plymouth.

Others, including Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, have said she is entitled to due process in the criminal courts. DFL Sens. Omar Fateh of Minneapolis, Jen McEwen of Duluth and Tou Xiong of Maplewood agreed with Marty that Mitchell was entitled to wait for a resolution of criminal due process.

Mathews and Miller said the dynamic has shifted since the session ended — with the calls from Martin and Walz for a resignation. Miller acknowledged that a decision to resign rests with Mitchell. "She has to do what she feels is best for the constituents she represents," he said, adding, "How it plays out from here, I think a lot will depend on the criminal hearings."

Another post-session change was the resignation of Sen. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven. She stepped down and a special election was set for November for her seat. Morrison is seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips in Congress. Morrison's departure put the Senate at a 33-33 partisan split.

After Wednesday's hearing, Champion was asked why he held such a brief ethics meeting given that he knew the criminal matter had been postponed. He said he wanted the session in the open "so people don't think I'm behind the scenes trying to do something."

Legislators earn $51,750 annually, get state health insurance and are paid a flat per diem for work days if they choose.

Staff writer Ryan Faircloth contributed to this story.