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DFL senator accused of burglary: ‘I do not intend to resign’


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Woodbury DFLer Nicole Mitchell was absent for both Senate floor sessions this week as a motion she filed to add an author to a veterans bill she is carrying failed on a bipartisan vote.
Hank Long
April 26, 2024

Sen. Nicole Mitchell, DFL-Woodbury, has yet to appear on the Senate floor since she was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary in northwestern Minnesota earlier this week. But she’s been the center of attention in the little the Senate has accomplished since it returned from a Passover holiday break on Wednesday.

On Thursday afternoon, the first-term legislator — who represents District 47 (which includes most of Woodbury and a portion of southeastern Maplewood) — distributed a statement to media announcing she does not intend to resign from her seat.

That followed a Senate floor session where a bipartisan vote defeated Mitchell’s motion to add a co-author to an omnibus veterans policy bill she is carrying. On Wednesday, Republicans brought forth a motion to expedite a hearing on an ethics violation complaint related to Mitchell’s conduct surrounding the alleged burglary. That motion failed on a 33-33, with Democrats and Republicans split on party lines. Mitchell was the lone senator who did not vote. A Senate ethics committee is scheduled to take up the complaint against Mitchell at a May 7 hearing.

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“It saddens me that some people are attempting to use a tragic family situation to score political points,” Mitchell said. “I am confident that a much different picture will emerge when all the facts are known.”

“I am as committed to my constituents today as the day I was elected, including important work for veterans and children, and I do not intend to resign.”

The Senate adjourned until Monday. The legislative session ends on May 20.

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Alpha News files suit to authorize release of video from Sen. Mitchell’s arrest

The complaint asks for expedited treatment because of the substantial public interest at issue.
Alpha News Staff
April 26, 2024

The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) has filed a complaint on behalf of Alpha News asking the Becker County District Court to authorize the release of the body and dash camera footage related to the arrest of Sen. Nicole Mitchell on April 22, 2024.

The complaint asks the Becker County District Court to authorize the release of the body and dash camera footage under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.82, subdivision 7, to shed additional light on what happened at 4:45 a.m. on April 22 in Detroit Lakes.

Controversy and public dispute have arisen because public statements made by Sen. Mitchell and her attorney describing her motives and actions appear to contradict the sworn allegations in the criminal complaint. Numerous public figures have now called for more details to know what happened that led to Sen. Mitchell’s arrest, and this lawsuit seeks those additional details.

The complaint asks for expedited treatment because of the substantial public interest at issue. So far, an ethics complaint has been filed against Sen. Mitchell, yet Mitchell has announced that she does not intend to resign and is planning to continue to act as a state senator. Important public figures such as Gov. Tim Walz have stated that this situation raises “some very serious questions [that] need to be addressed,” that answers “need to be provided very quickly here,” and that “there is a strong responsibility that elected officials are held to a high standard.”

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‘I tripped over ’em’: 911 transcript from Sen. Nicole Mitchell’s arrest released

The caller claimed to be armed with a "little steak knife" and was unable to make out the burglar because it was "completely dark."
Alpha News Staff
April 25, 202

A 911 transcript provides new details on Democratic Sen. Nicole Mitchell’s arrest Monday morning on burglary charges.

“I tripped over ‘em. Ah, he was on the floor next to my bed. He ran downstairs into my basement,” the 911 caller, presumably Mitchell’s stepmother, told the dispatcher.

The caller claimed to be armed with a “little steak knife” and was unable to make out the burglar because it was “completely dark.”

“I don’t know what the hell is going on. My god,” the caller said.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Mitchell, officers arrived at a Detroit Lakes home after receiving a call that “somebody had broken into a residence.” Upon arriving at the residence, officers found the adult female who reported the incident, and that adult female said the suspect was in the basement, the complaint says.

When the officers searched the basement, they found Mitchell dressed in black clothing and wearing a black hat, the court filing says. Additionally, the complaint states that a flashlight was found nearby which was “modified so as to control the amount of light emitting from the flashlight.”

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DFL Sen. Nicole Mitchell removed from committee assignments after arrest

"This half-hearted punishment is a partisan effort to protect a political agenda and allow Sen. Mitchell to be the deciding vote on the Senate floor," Republican leader Mark Johnson said.
Anthony Gockowski
April 29, 2024

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Nicole Mitchell has been removed from her committee assignments and won’t participate in caucus meetings following her arrest last week on burglary charges.

“While the case is under review both in the Senate and in the courts, Senator Mitchell will be relieved of her committee assignments and removed from caucus meetings,” Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St.Paul, said in a statement, Axios reported.

However, Mitchell will still cast votes on the Senate floor, Assistant Majority Leader Nick Frentz, DFL-North Mankato, told the Star Tribune. Without Mitchell’s vote, the DFL, which has just a one-seat majority in the Senate, would not be able to pass legislation without bipartisan support.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, said removing Mitchell from her committee assignments is “not enough.”

“This half-hearted punishment is a partisan effort to protect a political agenda and allow Sen. Mitchell to be the deciding vote on the Senate floor,” he said.

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Valin

DFL Sen. Nicole Mitchell pleads the Fifth at ethics hearing for burglary arrest

The committee deferred taking action on the ethics complaint until it meets again in June.
Anthony Gockowski
May 8, 2024

Democratic Minnesota Sen. Nicole Mitchell didn’t speak once — with the exception of saying “I do” when she was put under oath — when she appeared with her attorneys before a Senate ethics panel Tuesday evening.

The embattled first-term senator from Woodbury was charged with felony first-degree burglary last month and was accused of breaking into her elderly stepmother’s Detroit Lakes home in the early hours of the morning on April 22.

Her arrest has upended the final days of the legislative session as Republicans argue she should resign or face discipline from the chamber.

As such, a group of GOP senators filed an ethics complaint against Mitchell that accuses her of violating the Senate’s ethical standards.

Tuesday’s panel — consisting of two Democratic senators and two Republicans — was tasked with gathering testimony from the involved parties, allowing time for questioning, and determining whether to proceed with an investigation.

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