Lino Lakes council member under fire for apparent threat to Rep. Emmer

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer fields a question.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News file

Melissa Maher, a Lino Lakes city council member, is facing scrutiny after she wrote a Facebook post that seemed to threaten Republican Congressman Tom Emmer.

Emmer's Facebook page posted a photo of his visit to a Cokato farm on Monday morning. Shortly after the post went up, Maher issued a disparaging response: "If I were you Emmer, I'd avoid people who have a lot of deadly objects at hand. Selling us all out was not a good plan for your future. You're a coward ..."

The post quickly drew the ire of others, including one of Maher's constituents who responded that the comment was "beyond rude" and "borders on threatening."

Maher responded to that calling it a "total lapse of judgment."

Emmer's chief of staff David FitzSimmons tweeted a photo of Maher's comment on Tuesday. He called on her to apologize.

"We try to take any kind of input and anything in stride, and even criticism or disagreement," he said. "But when things get to the point where they're insinuating violence, that's a little beyond, and for this to come from a city councilman (sic) it seems very out of line."

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Maher said in an interview Tuesday she regrets the post and plans to contact Emmer's office to apologize.

"I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I would post a comment like that," she said. "As soon as one of my constituents here in Lino Lakes had responded to my comment I realized and responded back to her saying that it was a total lapse in judgment and just a very poor choice on my part."

Maher said her response was in reaction to the American Health Care Act bill that passed the U.S. House, which Emmer supported.

Maher was elected to Lino Lakes' city council about a year and a half ago.