A Dakota County jury convicted Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald of refusing to submit to a breath test and obstructing the legal process during an April 2013 traffic stop in which police suspected she was intoxicated.

MacDonald also was convicted of speeding, but was found not guilty on a drunken driving charge because there was no evidence. MacDonald refused to exit the car, so no field sobriety test could be conducted at the scene.

Judge Leslie Metzen ordered a psychological evaluation for MacDonald.

Stephen Grigsby, MacDonald’s attorney, said MacDonald will appeal the verdicts on resisting arrest and refusal of a breath test, but will not contest the speeding conviction.

“She’s disappointed as anyone to get a verdict like this,” Grigsby said of MacDonald, who is the GOP-endorsed candidate to challenge Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug.

The jury convicted MacDonald after a trial that began Tuesday and ended Wednesday. The jury deliberated for about three hours before delivering the verdicts Wednesday afternoon.

MacDonald was endorsed by the state Republican Party at its May convention, but one month later set off a tempest when her stop for suspected drunken driving was made public. Republican party members attempted to bar her entry from their Minnesota State Fair booth last month. Officials also asked her to “repudiate” her endorsement. She declined and filed a complaint earlier this month against the party and several members, alleging that they attempted to coerce her into renouncing her endorsement. The complaint was dismissed by an administrative law judge.

Grigsby said he is not connected to MacDonald’s campaign and only serves as her attorney in the criminal case.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 12.

MacDonald did not answer a call to her cellphone, and her voice mailbox was full.


Abby Simons • 651-925-5043