Minnesota Representative Eric Lucero filed an ethics complaint against Representative John Thompson following an outburst from Thompson during a legislative session. According to Lucero, Thompson repeatedly spoke out of order when Lucero was discussing an amendment to a bill regarding the importance of supporting law enforcement officers, particularly the spouses and children of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
The ethics complaint reads, “Rep. Thompson was ruled out of order and subsequently interjected, attacking Rep. Lucero by shouting ‘I know you’re a racist!’” The complaint is signed by Representative Eric Lucero, Representative Joe McDonald, Representative Marion O’Neill, Representative Mary Franson, Representative Steve Green, and Representative Josh Heintzemann.
The complaint says, “Rep. Thompson’s actions directed at a sitting Member on the floor of the House of Representatives bring absolute dishonor and disrepute to this body. Rep. Thompson’s comments were destructive to the integrity of the body and its adopted code of conduct.”
Thompson was also recently under scrutiny for a traffic stop, where it was discovered that Thompson does not hold a valid Minnesota driver’s license. Instead, he has a license for Wisconsin. He also happened to have his driving privileges suspended for failing to pay child support. This has raised several concerns among lawmakers. Andrew Wagner, the director of public affairs for the Minnesota GOP tweeted out a screenshot of the application for a Wisconsin driver’s license, where it states that the applicant must be a resident of Wisconsin.
— Andrew Wagner (@andrewwagner) July 9, 2021
Thompson has allegedly been a Minnesota resident for over 18 years. According to the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles, “New residents have 60 days after becoming a resident in Minnesota to obtain a Minnesota license or permit if they have a valid driver’s license or instruction permit from another state.”
According to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “A Wisconsin Department of Public Safety spokesman confirmed Thompson has had a license in that state since 2000 and has renewed it in 2005, 2012 and in November of 2020, the same month he was elected to represent the east of St. Paul in Minnesota.”
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also reported that Thompson “was allowed to only list a P.O. box in St. Paul after checking a box that allows a residence to be classified as private data.” Any lawmaker or candidate who chooses to select that box then certifies that “a police report has been submitted or I have an order for protections for my (or my family’s safety, or my address is otherwise private by Minnesota law.”
Thompson also alleged that the traffic stop was racial profiling and that he was stopped because he was Black. He did not give any evidence to support this claim and the St. Paul Chief of Police is asking Thompson to apologize to the sergeant for the accusation.
As reported by The Minnesota Sun, when speaking about the incident Thompson allegedly said “I’m still being profiled…too. In fact, I was just pulled over Saturday for a pre-textual stop…you don’t have a front license plate and I got a ticket for my license. Anyway, I thought we weren’t doing pre-textual stops here in this state, but we are. We’re still getting ‘driving while Black’ tickets here in this state. As a matter of fact, in St. Paul. So let’s just call it what it is, right?”
The Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released a statement saying he was “disappointed” in Thompson. He wrote, “Nobody is above the law, including our elected officials. We expect all of our elected officials, regardless of party, to not only follow the law, but to hold themselves to the highest standards. Whether they like it or not, their words, actions, and behavior are going to be scrutinized by the public. As such it is important for people in positions of power and influence to model the type of behavior we expect from everyone. Representative John Thompson fell short of that standard, and I am disappointed by his recent actions.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rep. John Thompson” by Minnesota Legislature.