Skip to main content

Minneapolis council president files ethics complaint against police chief, mayor

At the heart of the complaint is the chief's news conference about Ballot Question 2.
Police chief Arradondo - 2021.10.27

Minneapolis' council president says Police Chief Medaria Arradondo may have violated MPD and city rules by openly arguing against an upcoming ballot question during a press conference this week.

Council Member Lisa Bender announced Thursday she is filing an ethic complaint against both Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey over Wednesday afternoon's event. The police chief, while speaking to the media, took a hardline stance against ballot question 2, which if approved would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety.

Critics, during the discussion, noted Arradondo's appearance may violate the city's code of ethics, which states employees should not use city facilities, property, funds, logos or personnel "to engage in political activity."

Related: What happens if Minneapolis' public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

Bender, who is not running for reelection, agreed, saying in a statement Thursday she believes Arradondo ran afoul of ethics code section 15.110 as well as MPD rules pertaining to campaigning in a uniform.

Because the police chief reports directly to the mayor, Bender said Frey might be on the hook as well. Bender wrote:

"We need a full and accurate ethics investigation of a press event held on Wednesday, October 27 — including the role of the Mayor of Minneapolis in directing or planning the event — when the Chief appears to have used city resources, including the support of city staff, city logos and the MPD uniform, at a press event explicitly focused on taking a position on a ballot question."

In a statement to Bring Me The News, the Minneapolis Police Department said Arradondo "stands by every word that he said," adding that he "respects the ethics process and will cooperate fully."

The statement continued: "The Chief firmly believes that he has an obligation to be honest and truthful with the residents of the city regarding their public safety and he will continue to do that."

Frey, in a statement, said the police chief "made the decision to speak out on his own," and called Bender's choice to include the mayor in the ethics complaint "a desperate, last ditch political stunt on her way out the door."

He added: "It should be treated as such.”

Arradondo himself previously implemented a rule preventing serving MPD officers from attending political campaign events or advertisements while wearing the uniform, which came after former Minneapolis Police Federation chief Bob Kroll planned to speak at a rally for former President Donald Trump at Target Center.

Next Up

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Brian O'Neill

Matthew Coller: What if the Vikings didn't have Detroit?

The Lions have been like two freebies on the Vikings' schedule the past three seasons.

water drain

MN will get $116M for water projects as part of infrastructure package

Nationwide, $7.4 billion will be distributed for projects next year.


3rd teenage death from COVID-19 reported in Minnesota

All three of the teenage deaths have occurred in the past three months.


Minneapolis vote here 2020 - Lorie Shaull, Flickr

Minneapolis ballot questions: The arguments for and against

Here's what happens if the amendment passes, why it's being discussed, and the arguments on both sides.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis voters reject plan to replace MPD with public safety department

It's a blow for advocates who had pushed for change following George Floyd's murder.

Medaria Arradondo

City Council questions Arradondo on rise of violent crime in Minneapolis

Council members say residents are asking "Where are the police" and are reporting officers say they need more resources to respond to crime.

Minneapolis City Hall

5 Mpls. City Council members ousted as final races are called

Was the election a referendum on the public safety question? The answer is murky.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis City Council committee passes 2021 budget, Frey threatens veto

The budget includes the "Safety for All" amendment, which would cut nearly $8 million from the city's police budget to fund alternative safety programs.

vote, election

Record early votes in Mpls. as residents tackle ballot questions, mayoral race

There have been more than twice as many early votes cast as in 2017, the last municipal election.

minneapolis office of mayor sign 2018 - Tony Webster Flickr

Mpls. Ballot Question 1 passes, shifting power from city council to mayor

Its passage upends the city's "weak mayor, strong council" structure that had been in place.

Flickr - Minneapolis police May 27 2020 officer less lethal weapon - Chad Davis

Mpls. council member releases privileged memo on 'less lethal' weapons

It says quite directly that the city council doesn't have the authority to restrict their use.