By Mike Kaszuba
Senate Republicans will hold a press conference Thursday to discuss an ethics complaint against Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, who pushed for special regulations on a northern Minnesota lake he has a cabin on.
Chaudhary acknowledged that he maneuvered last week to have special regulations put in place for Fish Lake Reservoir, a 3,000-acre lake near Duluth that he owns a cabin on. The senator has since said that the move left him with "egg on my face", and said he might seek to repeal the special regulations when the Legislature convenes next year.
While the legislation did not instruct the state Department of Natural Resources to do anything specific regarding the lake, state officials said some nearby residents have complained that the lake's walleye grow too slowly. DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten opposed Chaudhary's move, saying special regulations were unnecessary.
Senate Republicans are expected to announce that they are sending a letter of inquiry -- the first step towards a formal ethics complaint -- to the Senate ethics panel.
Chaudhary was cleared by the Senate ethics panel two years ago on an unrelated matter involving a cable TV outdoors show he hosted. The inquiry focused on Chaudhary asking Arctic Cat and a carpenter's union to be sponsors for the show, even as the state senator was backing legislation favorable to the company and the union.