North St. Paul Mayor almost comes to blows with council member over liquor row

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The Mayor of North St. Paul has apologized for his part in a blazing row that almost led to a fight with another councillor, who is now calling for his resignation.

The Pioneer Press reports that Mayor Mike Kuehn and council member Scott Thorsen got into an argument over liquor licenses at a council work session on Tuesday, during which Kuehn allegedly told Thorsen to "shut your god damn mouth" before challenging him to "take it outside."

Speaking to the newspaper Friday, the 64-year-old Kuehn said: "I hope he will find it in his heart to forgive me for my comments. I wish I could take it back, I can't. I deeply regret that, and I'm not proud of it. I will be apologizing to the council and the community as well."

Thorsen expressed his shock at the incident on his Facebook page Friday, saying he had filed a police report to document the incident and said he intends to file a restraining order against the mayor.

"It’s one thing to have a debate and a disagreement," he said. "It’s another to cross the line and do what he did."

Thorsen said that Kuehn had broken the city's code of conduct, and as such should tender his resignation.

Onlookers 'dumbfounded'

Thorsen told FOX 9 the only reason he agreed to "take it outside" was because he wanted to get him out of a room filled with other residents, including a child.

But cooler heads prevailed and the pair returned to the meeting without a blow being landed.

Kuehn told the news station he does not intend to resign, but did admitted: "I did lose my temper and said let's go outside and settle this. I'm 64-years-old, I had no intention of doing that."

Resident John Schmahl, who was at the meeting, told the Pioneer Press that everyone was "dumbfounded" as the argument over whether to reduce penalties for liquor license violations (Thorsen for, Kuehn against) escalated.

Kuehn has been Mayor of North St. Paul for the past eight years, having served 25 years on the council.

In November, the pair went head to head in the mayoral race, with Kuehn winning by just 82 votes, the Lillie News reports.

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