A Minnesota lawmaker who was ticketed after a park ranger caught him allegedly “making out” with another legislator last week inside a parked car said the two just met up to swap documents, not spit.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday that a Dakota County sheriff’s deputy issued citations for causing a nuisance on Aug. 25 to state Reps. Tim Kelly (R) and Tara Mack (R). Court records obtained by the newspaper showed the deputy found Kelly “making out with a female in car” around 4:30 p.m. in a park in Eagan, Minnesota. The deputy wrote in his notes that the woman’s pants “were unzipped and pulled down,” according to the Pioneer Press.
The lawmakers, who are married to other people, both issued statements that contested the deputy’s version of events.
Kelly said in a statement to the Pioneer Press that he met up with Mack in the park to pick up documents related to a health-care plan when he was approached by the deputy about a parking violation. He said that he disputed the deputy’s contention that he was double-parked, which caused the deputy to get angry and then issue him a parking ticket that cited a nuisance.
“When I asked what that meant, he responded ‘whatever I want it to mean,'” Kelly said, as quoted by the newspaper.
Mack said in a statement to the Pioneer Press that the information in the deputy’s notes was “completely false and inappropriate.” She also stated that the notes were “obtained illegally” and vowed to file a complaint with the sheriff’s office, according to the newspaper.
The Dakota County Sheriff was standing by his deputy, though.
“He doesn’t know these people. He’s just doing his job,” Sheriff Tim Leslie told local TV station KARE. “That’s what park rangers do, is they patrol and look for problems in the parks and that’s what he was doing.”
“We have a lot of trust in his abilities, and I’ve no reason to doubt what he’s putting in his report,” the sheriff added.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.