Politics and Government

Minnesota Rep. Grossell cited for DWI

Matt Grossell poses for a portrait
Matt Grossell, GOP candidate for Minnesota State House District 2A, stands for a portrait during the public Meet the Candidates event at BSU in Bemidji on Oct. 27.
Monika Lawrence for MPR News

A Republican state lawmaker with a previous run-in related to alcohol was cited last week on drinking and driving charges. 

Fourth-term Rep. Matt Grossell was stopped not far from his home in Clearwater County by the State Patrol in the early morning hours of Feb. 11. An incident report says he submitted to a blood alcohol test and was found to be at .15 percent – almost twice the legal limit for driving.

Grossell faces misdemeanor DWI charges. It’s not the first time he’s had an alcohol-related legal issue. 

In 2019, Grossell was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct and trespassing after becoming unruly at a hotel bar near the Capitol. He was accused of threatening security personnel who responded and staff at a nearby hospital. 

Grossell, a retired Clearwater County sheriff’s deputy and former Blackduck police chief, agreed to enter a court diversion program and was not convicted. He was removed from the House public safety and judiciary committees as a result.

Through a House GOP spokesperson, Grossell declined comment on the latest charge. Grossell returned to the judiciary and public safety committees upon his re-election in 2020 and is a member of both again this session.

His attorney, Alex Rogosheske, issued a statement that merely restated the circumstances of the traffic stop. Rogosheske said Grossell was initially stopped for speeding. He was going 71 mph, 16 mph over the legal speed limit of 55.

He was arrested but not booked due to the county jail being closed at the time.

He was released pending charges, his attorney said. Grossell was on the House floor for votes this week.

Grossell’s arraignment is set for March, although his attorney has asked to have the hearing delayed until April due to a scheduling conflict. 

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