Note: This article is not related to family court but I am posting it because it demonstrates a how the actions of out of control officials negatively impact not only their office but contribute to systemic problems as a whole (which are commonly reported problems in family court).
During the March 3, 2015 North St. Paul City Council meeting, debate over liquor laws grew heated and Mayor Mike Kuehn (who has been mayor since 2008 and a council member since 1990) swore at City Council member Scott Thorsen and threatened to “take it outside”. Thorsen is reported as saying, “Yeah, I’ll go outside”. Thorsen later claims he only accepted the offer to get Mayor Kuehn closer to the police station, where there are cameras. The pair left the meeting, and were found shouting at each other in the main floor of City Hall. The City attorney Soren Mattick and City Manager Jason Ziemer intervened before the fight escalated into physical confrontation.
The two men apologized to the Council members and shocked audience then returned to business as usual.
Thorsen later filed a police report against Mayor and asked for his resignation. Thorsen said: “How are we to have open, honest, healthy debates on topics if the threat of violence lingers over our heads if we happen to disagree with the Mayor?” Thorsen claims the incident is an example of a bigger problem in City Hall and alleges that Mayor Kuehn dominates, and controls the Council, and will not tolerate disagreements. Thorsen is also considering getting a restraining order.
Mayor Kuehn apologized for his actions: “I hope he will find it in his heart to forgive me for my comments. I wish I could take it back; I can’t. I deeply regret that, and I’m not proud of it. I will be apologizing to the council and the community, as well.” He also apologized to the Council Members and city residents in general. Mayor Kuehn denied that he is controlling the Council.
On March 17th, Thorsen announced his resignation from City Council: “The threat of violence is something that should be taken seriously. … Although I am willing to forgive, I can never forget the mayor’s hostile actions against me.”
To which Mayor Kuehn responded: ““I am extremely embarrassed by my actions. I want to sincerely and humbly apology to council member Thorsen.”
Council members say they will wait to take action on Thorsen’s resignation, until a special meeting with a “dispute resolution” mediator, could be held, hopefully by the end of the month. Several Council Members have urged Thorsen to reconsider his resignation.
EJ Perth, 2015
“Angry North St. Paul council member delivers ultimatum in dispute with mayor.” Sarah Horner, 3/9/2015. Twincities.com: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27679249/i-am-drawing-line-sand-its-him-or?source=rss
“Councilman Thorsen vows to file charges against Mayor Kuehn”. Erin Hinrichs and Holly Wenzel, 3/11/2015. Lillie News: http://www.lillienews.com/articles/2015/03/11/councilman-thorsen-vows-file-charges-against-mayor-kuehn#.VRfGLPzF9ac
“North St. Paul mayor, council member, nearly come to blows at City Hall”. Tad Vezner, 3/7/2015. Twincities.com : http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27665223/north-st-paul-mayor-council-member-nearly-come
“North St. Paul mayor apologizes, councilman quits anyways”. Tad Vezner, 3/18/3015. Twincities.com: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27733561/after-confrontation-mayor-north-st-paul-council-member?source=pkg