Two lawmakers deny romantic encounter

Two Minnesota lawmakers ticketed for “making out” in a Dakota County park are insisting the alleged tryst inside a parked car never happened.

Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, and Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley, received citations last Tuesday afternoon for “committing an act that constitutes a nuisance” in a public park. The address of the incident was Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan.

In court documents for the citations, the law enforcement officer noted that the two were “making out” in a car and that “the female’s pants were unzipped and pulled down.”

Kelly chairs the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee. Mack chairs the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee. Both are serving their fourth term.

In a written statement, Kelly said he met with Mack to pick up documents related to the rural health care provider South Country Health Alliance. He also described his interaction with the officer at the park.

“When we met, a park ranger approached my vehicle and told me I was double-parked,” Kelly said. “I disputed his characterization and got out of the car to take a picture. He became visibly agitated and returned to his own car. Approximately ten minutes later, he returned to my vehicle with a parking ticket citing a nuisance. When I asked what that meant, he responded ‘whatever I want it to mean.’”

“I’ve since learned the park ranger included false information in his notes that I understand have now been illegally obtained. What he wrote is an absolute lie and I intend on filing a complaint.”

Mack also issued a written statement.

“Last week, I received a citation for a nuisance. Subsequently, I have been told the officer wrote in his notes -- information that I’ve requested, but has not yet been made public to me -- statements that are completely false and inappropriate (and apparently were illegally obtained). I will be filing a complaint with the sheriff’s office regarding the officer's egregious and false statements.”

A spokeswoman for the House Republican Caucus said neither Kelly nor Mack were available for interviews.

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which first reported the incident, that he has no reason to doubt his deputy's account of the citation and that he stands "behind him 100 percent."

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