Minnesota House speaker defers action on embattled lawmaker

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman told her chamber’s top Republican on Wednesday that she’s not planning any immediate ethics action against embattled Rep. John Thompson.

Hortman. Gov. Tim Walz and other top Democrats called on Thompson to resign after KMSP-TV on Friday reported about a series of domestic abuse allegations against Thompson between 2003 and 2010. Thompson has denied the allegations.

The speaker told GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt in a letter that she’d refer any complaint to the House Ethics Committee, but that in the absence of an ethics complaint she won’t take action until after court proceedings on other matters conclude. She said speakers generally don’t personally direct ethics complaints.

Thompson, a St. Paul Democrat who’s been outspoken on police accountability, is on trial over a 2019 misdemeanor charge of obstructing police during an incident a suburban Minneapolis hospital before he took office. Thompson was also ticketed earlier this month for driving on a suspended license during a traffic stop that raised still-unresolved questions about whether he really lives in his St. Paul district.

Daudt said Monday that House Republicans were prepared to file ethics complaints against Thompson if Hortman didn’t act herself.

Hortman said in response Wednesday that that’s their right as legislators.

House Republicans were preparing a statement.


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