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Charges: Southern Minnesota mayor was drunk, drove 97 mph

His blood-alcohol content was more than double the legal limit, charges note.

The mayor of Elysian and former Rice County sheriff's deputy is accused of being drunk when he got pulled over for driving nearly 100 mph down Highway 60 last month. 

Thomas Edward McBroom Sr., 62, of Elysian, is charged with two counts of gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI, misdemeanor careless driving and petty misdemeanor speeding in connection to the April 16 incident. 

According to the criminal complaint filed this week, a Le Sueur County deputy saw a pickup truck traveling at a "high rate of speed" on westbound Minnesota Highway 60 at around 10:35 p.m. on April 16, clocking the motorist as traveling 97 mph in a 60-mph zone. 

The deputy pulled the truck over and identified the driver as McBroom, charges say. He told the deputy he had to "piss like a mad man" and said he thought he was going 70-80 mph. 

The deputy smelled a "very strong odor of alcohol" coming from McBroom's vehicle and breath but McBroom said he hadn't had anything to drink that night, the complaint states. 

McBroom then told the deputy he was coming from "Moose, from a party of a guy retiring and had a beer and had to piss like a son of a b----," the complaint states.

The deputy asked him to get out of the truck, and noted McBroom had poor balance, slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes, charges say. 

McBroom told the deputy he was a retired deputy and asked if he could "piss," charges say. The deputy allowed him to relieve himself in the ditch. 

McBroom agreed to a field sobriety test, during which he kept moving his head when instructed to only use his eyes to follow the deputy's finger and lost his balance during the "walk-and-turn test," at which point he said, "F--- it, what else you got?" the complaint alleges.

McBroom told the deputy he's the mayor of Elysian and a retired deputy and asked him to move onto the next test, charges say. McBroom also lost his balance during the "one-leg stand test."

That's when he told the deputy he "was coming from the Moose in Faribault and probably had five to six beers," adding apparently he "had too much," the complaint says.

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McBroom agreed to a preliminary breath test, saying "It's not going to be good," charges say. The test showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.179, which is more than double the legal limit of 0.08. 

At this time, the deputy arrested McBroom for the suspicion of driving while impaired and was brought to the Le Sueur County Jail, where he provided another breath test. At that point, his BAC was 0.17, still more than double the legal limit.

According to the Mankato Free Press, McBroom was released on bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on July 6. 

Past controversy

This is the latest incident in which McBroom has made headlines for something controversial. Last summer, McBroom settled a civil defamation lawsuit with Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile who live-streamed the aftermath of him being fatally shot by police in Falcon Heights in 2016, over a racist tweet he sent in 2017. 

Following Reynolds being paid $800,000 in settlements with the City of St. Anthony and City of Roseville, McBroom — an Elysian City Council member and Rice County Sheriff's Deputy at the time — tweeted Reynolds needs to “come off county and state aid now that she has some cash. It’ll probably be gone in six months on crack cocaine," the Associated Press said

The Rice County Sheriff's Office demoted McBroom for the tweets and gave him a pay cut in February 2018 for violating department policy. An arbitrator upheld the county's action, which was later upheld by a judge, reports note. McBroom retired from the sheriff's office in May 2020.

In 2019, Reynolds sued McBroom, saying his tweet was defamatory, false and racially motivated. They settled the lawsuit last summer but details of it weren't disclosed, media reports state. McBroom did issue a public apology to Reynolds. 

McBroom was elected mayor of Elysian in 2018 after receiving 145 votes. Elysian is located in Le Sueur County and has a population of fewer than 700 people.

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