ROCHESTER – After more than two months of warnings, the Rochester City Council on Monday night ejected Council Member Molly Dennis from its public meeting.

Council President Brooke Carlson told Dennis to leave more than two hours into the council meeting during a discussion on collecting unpaid parking tickets. Dennis questioned how the city tracks tickets it dismisses — steering the conversation close to concerns she had over a statement Mayor Kim Norton made during an investigation into Dennis' claims that she is being discriminated against, part of her ongoing lawsuit against the city.

Dennis, her colleagues and city staff talked over each other at multiple points during the discussion as people in the room appeared to grow increasingly frustrated. Carlson ejected Dennis after she claimed Rochester doesn't track tickets it dismisses, which City Administrator Alison Zelms said wasn't true.

"I will leave, but I feel targeted," Dennis said.

Dennis believes Norton defamed her after the council censured her in March of last year. Council members publicly rebuked Dennis for inappropriate behavior and harassment toward her colleagues and city staff. Dennis denies acting unprofessional in her role as an elected official.

The city last summer hired an outside investigator to look into Dennis's claims the censure was a reprisal over her attention disorder. Norton told the investigator Dennis has tried to fix parking tickets in the past.

Norton's comment was included in the investigator's report in a section where the mayor described how she felt Dennis "micromanages and abuses her authority" by getting personally involved in incidents rather than directing residents to staff members. Norton said Dennis had demanded information in the past on confidential police matters.

At one point Monday, Dennis alluded to Norton's comment while sharing how she paid a parking ticket last year even after she was told by city staff it would be dismissed. Dennis was ticketed after parking at the Olmsted County Government Center to go check her mail as part of the council.

Dennis claimed it was a crime for any public official to dismiss a ticket, which city staff said wasn't true.

"We have some discretion," City Clerk Kelly Geistler said. "I have clearly and very narrowly defined the discretion that my office uses, and we refer everything else to the city attorney or the court."

"So you can fix someone's ticket?" Dennis said in response.

City Attorney Michael Spindler-Krage warned the council Dennis was purposefully misinforming the public and recommended Dennis be "excused from this proceeding."

Carlson appeared to get frustrated with Dennis shortly after Spindler-Krage's warning, when Dennis talked over the council president as she was giving directions.

"You are interrupting me again. Enough!" Carlson said. "I'm not going to tolerate this."

Before she was ejected, Dennis said her questions came from residents. She asked why city staff couldn't discuss their process for dismissing tickets on the record during the meeting.

Dennis said Tuesday that residents have the right to know why certain tickets are dismissed and by whom.

"As an oversight body, the City Council needs to help prevent possible cronyism," she said. "I believe my question last night ... was not only reasonable and germane but essential for public trust."

Dennis has publicly scrapped with her colleagues in recent months, resulting in warnings over several meetings to kick her out if she didn't follow meeting guidelines or respect Carlson's authority to run proceedings.

In early March, Dennis was almost asked to leave after she brought up concerns over how she had been cut off while speaking by other council members and the city attorney in prior meetings. Council members argued Dennis isn't being silenced, but rather she abuses her platform to go over issues she has with the city.

A federal magistrate judge is reviewing Dennis's lawsuit against the city. Attorneys for the city of Rochester pushed to dismiss Dennis' suit in a court hearing last month, arguing Dennis doesn't have grounds to sue the city. Dennis argues the city and her fellow council members have intentionally ostracized and bullied her because she processes things differently.