Less than a week after two Michigan Republican lawmakers were bounced from their state’s legislature because of an extramarital affair – if it didn’t involved sleeping together on the taxpayers’ dime, it was certainly on the taxpayers’ time – two Minnesota lawmakers have been caught making out in a park.
State Reps. Tara Mack and Tim Kelly originally accused the Dakota County park ranger who caught them making out in a car Aug. 25 of lying about what they were doing when discovered in the park.
Kelly and Mack, both Republicans and both married to other people, said they arrived in separate cars parked away from each other when the ranger approached them.
Kelly and Mack, who both serve on the Minnesota House Ethics Committee, said they were in the park only to exchange legislative documents and said the meeting was purely professional.
Both issued statements calling into question the park ranger’s credibility.
“I received a citation for a nuisance. Subsequently, I have been told the officer wrote in his notes — information that I’ve requested, but has not yet been made public to me — statements that are completely false and inappropriate (and apparently were illegally obtained),” Mack said in her statement.
“I will be filing a complaint with the sheriff’s office regarding the officer’s egregious and false statements.”
Kelly issued a similar statement.
“When we met, a park ranger approached my vehicle and told me I was double-parked. I disputed his characterization and got out of the car to take a picture. He became visibly agitated and returned to his own car. Approximately ten minutes later, he returned to my vehicle with a parking ticket citing a nuisance,” Kelly said in his statement.
“When I asked what that meant, he responded ‘whatever I want it to mean.’ I’ve since learned the park ranger included false information in his notes that I understand have now been illegally obtained. What he wrote is an absolute lie and I intend on filing a complaint.”
The park ranger stood by his story that Kelly and Mack were in the same car and “were leaning in toward the center of the car, engaged in intimate behavior,” Jordan Moses wrote in his report.
Moses wrote that Mack’s pants were pulled down to mid-thigh, revealing blue-teal panties. When he asked her why she was in such a state of undress, Moses said Mack refused to answer but did try to cover herself with her hands.
Although they both claimed Moses lied in his report, Mack and Kelly have now recanted their original stories.
“Since becoming a State Representative in 2009, I have been a strong supporter of our men and women in law enforcement,” Mack said in a statement released today.
“I understand that the Park Ranger was trying to do his job. I have the utmost respect for the work law enforcement does to keep Minnesotans safe and I apologize for offending these great men and women,” she added.
Kelly also issued a statement today in which he said, “After serious reflection on the last two weeks, I can say that I am disappointed in myself for the way I handled my disagreement with a park ranger. I reacted to this in an emotional way and certainly without respect and professionalism.”
“Several of my own family members serve in law enforcement and I have nothing but respect for the entire community. There is a proper way to handle conflicts and as a state representative you should certainly expect me to do so. I apologize to my constituents, to the law enforcement community and to the state of Minnesota,” he added.
The spouses of Rep. Mack and Kelly have not made official comment yet.
However, Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt issued a statement shortly after Kelly and Mack admitted their dalliance in a state park, saying both had resigned from their positions on the House Ethics Committee.