GOP lawmaker faces ethics complaint for yelling at DFL colleague

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Minnesota state lawmaker is accusing one of her House colleagues of screaming at her to the point where she felt threatened.

State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a news release Monday that she filed an ethics complaint against Republican Rep. Denny McNamara of Hastings over the May 16 incident (read the document here).

In the complaint, Kahn described how McNamara became upset during a meeting with her and Brian Rice, a lobbyist for the Minneapolis Park Board, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The dispute stemmed from an allegation McNamara had brought to Kahn, in which he claimed a Park Board lobbyist threatened to reduce the amount of business it does with his family's nursery and landscaping firm, as political payback for a change he wanted to make to the Park Board's budgeting.

Kahn and Rice went to McNamara's office to discuss the issues, according to the complaint, and Kahn said McNamara quickly became irate.

According to the complaint:

"[McNamara] then became incredibly agitated and accused Representative Kahn and Mr. Rice of being deceitful and conniving. He became red in the face, rose to his feet, and began screaming for them to get out of his office. Representative McNamara continued to yell as he slammed his door on Representative Kahn and Mr. Rice as they exited."

According to the complaint, McNamara's voice was so loud that it was heard by others behind closed doors in offices across the hall.

“In my entire time in the legislature I’ve never felt as threatened and domineered as I did on that afternoon,” Kahn said.

Her complaint states that McNamara's conduct violated the rules of the House, which require members to "treat everyone with respect, fairness and courtesy."

McNamara released a statement late Monday afternoon apologizing for the outburst, according to MPR News. It reads in part:

"During the legislative session, a DFL lawmaker informed me that a lobbyist for the Minneapolis Park Board had allegedly stated that if a decades-old earmark for the North Minneapolis Regional Park was to be repealed from existing law, there might be retaliation to my son’s landscaping and nursery business. I was appalled by such underhanded threats and intimidation.

Subsequently, I met with Brian Rice, a lobbyist for the Minneapolis Park Board, and Representatives Phyllis Kahn and Dennis Smith. In the heat of the moment, I reacted in a way that I now regret. To Rep. Kahn, with whom I’ve always had a great working relationship, I would like to apologize, as my words were not directed at her but to Mr. Rice, who I thought had made the threat.

The point I was attempting to make was that votes cast by members of the legislature, whether Republican or Democrat, should never be held against their family members. As I made very clear, my integrity is not for sale.

After this meeting, the DFL lawmaker who first brought this matter to my attention conveyed to me that the threat to my son’s business came from Maryanne Campo, another lobbyist for the Minneapolis Park Board."

Kahn's complaint is now in the hands of House Speaker Kurt Daudt, who has seven days to refer it to the House Ethics Committee for action, according to the news release.

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.

Related