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Lawmakers leave ethics panel, apologize after public squabble over 'making out' citation

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Two state lawmakers agreed to step down from the House Ethics Committee after a public spat with law enforcement after they were cited for "making out" in a car.

Rep. Tim Kelly (a Republican from Red Wing) and Rep. Tara Mack (a Republican from Apple Valley) each issued separate press releases Monday morning in which they apologized to law enforcement, and briefly mention the details regarding last month's incident that started the saga.

In addition, both are stepping down from their spot on the House Ethics Committee.

The moves stem from an incident in late August, in which a Dakota County Sherriff's Office deputy issued them a citation for "making out" in a parked car in Eagan, the Pioneer Press reported. The report also said Mack's pants were unzipped at the time.

Both lawmakers are married to other people and denied the claims, initially accusing the park ranger of lying about the circumstances and threatening to file a complaint, KARE 11 reported.

Kelly said he'd met Mack to exchange some documents, and contended the park ranger was upset about how the vehicle was parked, calling details in the report "an absolute lie," according to MPR News.

But days later both opted to pay the $260 in fines – while still saying they disagree with parts of the deputy's write-up, FOX 9 reported.

And late last week, The Associated Press detailed a record of events from Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie, in which he said Mack "changed her tune" between the time she was cited and when she discovered some of the ranger's notes would be made public.

In a statement released Monday, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said he and Majority Leader Joyce Pepin, R-Rogers, expressed their "concerns" to Kelly and Mack this past weekend about their recent public comments.

The two then voluntarily stepped down from the Ethics Committee, Daudt said.

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