By Liz Collin

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (WCCO) — A New Richmond, Wis. Mayor is the recent subject of scrutiny after he was caught in a city building in the middle of the night on April 12, moaning and giggling with a woman. Police believe the two had been drinking.

A New Richmond police officer working in the same building heard giggling from the civic center basement inside City Hall. The cop said he then spotted Mayor Fred Horne’s car in his designated spot. The officer walked down the stairs and heard moaning in a changing room near an exercise room.

When the officer asked if everything was ok, he said Horne winked at him and said it was.

In a police recording made public, Horne had an awkward conversation with Officer Timothy Kufus, the officer who found him. Here is a part of that exchange:

Kufus: “You’re putting us in a real weird spot because you’re the mayor. Everyone tells me that you’re basically our boss.”

Horne: “Yup, and I apologize for putting you in this tough spot.”

Kufus: “I’m just wondering what you’re doing down here?”

Horne: “Are you saying I don’t have a right to be here?”

Kufus: “No, absolutely not.”

Kufus: “And then secondly, I would hope you don’t drive home.”

Horne: “I… I already plan to walk home.”

Police think Mayor Horne had been drinking. They smelled alcohol and said his eyes were red and glossy.

Julie Wig lives in New Richmond and said she believes the major should have better judgment.

“That should be left at home in the privacy of your own home,” she said.

Horne didn’t answer the door when WCCO-TV stopped by his home Friday night. A city spokesperson said he hasn’t been in all week. The spokesperson said his absence has nothing to do with the incident.

Police also said Mayor Horne didn’t commit a crime and the case is considered closed. No complaints have been raised about the mayor in any city council meeting since the incident.

Comments (63)
  1. PJ says:

    There was no crime committed and the case is closed? Then why is this newsworthy? This is National Enquirer level material.

    1. ya fied says:

      pagan children

    2. Mark says:

      I think the National Enquirer maintains higher standards.

    3. Mark says:

      Interesting — ‘CCO seems to ban people who criticize the low quality of their reporting from further comments.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        They disabled comments about the sex trafficking story completely. Like Drugs have nothing to do with how the people in the story got involved with prostitution.

        Maybe Liz should get a Job as a writer for the Lifetime Channel.

    4. sue says:

      I agree. He may of had a right to be there but for being work related.,not for drinking and messing around in a taxpayer facility. Maybe its time for a new Mayor. One with a little common sense. Get a room next time if your hormones are raging….

    5. fred says:

      I agree, mike. this clown needs to take the train

    6. heinze says:

      Stories as such satisfy those who seek sensationalism. Sensationalism and $ex is a big money maker.

    7. Slick Willy says:

      1. It’s very funny.
      2. It’s a person or thing considered interesting enough to be reported.
      3. You found the headline enticing and needed more gossip. Admit it.
      4. ???
      5. Profit

  2. Jim P says:

    Shame on you !! You are having a slow news day, so lets trash a mans life.
    Maybe it’s time to investigate the ‘story tellers’ and see how skeletons can be found………….
    Again SHAME ON YOU.

    1. ba ba black sheep says:

      the mayor trashing his own life???????? you mean?
      shame on you. why defend rotten behavior?

    2. sucks says:

      The reporter is just doing her job. And like the other person said … the Mayor did this to himself. If he wanted to get “drunk & mess around” he should have done it somewhere else – not in a public bldg. Sorry … shame on you for making your comment and thinking that something like this is “not a big issue.”

  3. Phid says:

    I didn’t realize the Catholic Church had ever oppressed you or your behavior with your genitals. Or anyone for that matter. If your definition of “oppression” is simply calling bad behavior bad, then I would really wonder what you call legitimate oppression.

    1. victim Du Jour says:

      A massage therapist accused Al Gore of grabbing her hand, dry humping her hand, while laying on his back naked making silly Forrest Gump noises.

      Who is Corporate Run Media to dictate what is bad behavior?

      I have seen so many stories about sexual harassment on CBS since I was a kid. David Letterman has a pull-out bed his office for young interns and dirty jokes about Sarah Palins Teenage Daughter.

      And people accuse the Catholic Church of being hypocritical.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        A Child is 100 times more likely to be sexually abused by a Public School Teacher than a Priest.

        Sex abuse is Much more common in Public Schools, but the media ignores it.

        1. As jack said... says:

          But what if I am a pagan? I can watch all the news I want? Thanks for the go ahead. My question is who alerted CCO of the incident I’m sure they don’t go around looking at the New Richmond police blotter for news. I think they should also look at the officer’s off duty activities since Police have a higher than normal divorce rate I’m sure the messing around begins long before the papers are filed. What kind of activity happens during the ride alongs with wives, husbands ,boyfriends and girlfriends in the car?

  4. Phid says:

    If the mayor had a right to be there, and he wasn’t committing any crime, this doesn’t sound like much of a story.

    1. the real story says:

      grown ups for leaders, thank you.
      does the mayor have a wife?
      Whose laws matter? Gods?
      or the mayors? the media? yours?
      Judgment day is coming. . . . . . . .
      whether you believe it or not.
      Study to know the Truth now before it is too late.

      1. The Jig Is Up says:

        oh please. Still living by precepts written down in buy-bull by superstitious, ritualistic patriarchs? That’s SO stone-age.

  5. Mark from says:

    This is a story? Has WCCO turned into the Enquirer? Dave Moore is turning in his grave. Poor story!!

    1. Mark from.......... says:

      expose the children, so we can have serious people
      in charge. This man needs help. Bow out, get help and grow up.
      Important story.
      But where are the responsible people
      who once would have stood against such foolishness?

  6. Pumpin Ethyl says:

    As long as he was married and needed a discrete place to make policy deposits who really cares?

    1. disgusting says:

      P E
      grown ups care.

      1. Pumpin Ethyl says:


        Show me some grown ups on this board…

  7. Wally Wonka says:

    Apparently this was all a big mistake. She was the City’s chief fire hose inspector and couldn’t see real good in the dark. THat explains the giggling too.

  8. Mark Munich says:

    Incredible lack of taste in reporting…. All we thought of as we watched the news on WCCO about this story, they are reporting on this why????? I think I will watch channel 11 news for a while. Let me know when you have fired the person who decided to run that story.

    1. LB says:

      I was in disbelief that WCCO felt that this was newsworthy and embarrassed for them and the people that had to listen to the broadcast. Why did WCCO feel they had to try and ruin the guys live??? The city of New Richmond has already dealt with it and WCCO still felt they needed to report it. Shame on you !! I hope you loose views from this and remove the people from your staff that felt this was news worthy. I know I will be watching a different channel from now on.

      1. LBJ? says:

        the mayor ruined his own life. No one else.

  9. Whatawaste says:

    Shame on WCCO! This story happened nearly three weeks ago. Why do we care now? Trashing a man’s life. All of you should be ashamed. And the first news story at that. An all time low for WCCO

    1. comment for dignity? says:

      don’t run for mayor.
      the story could be you.

  10. Elmo says:

    Looks like the Mayor was getting his Touch needs met. Too bad the cop didn’t put the cuffs on them. They would of liked that. Or peppered sprayed them, like to dogs that get locked together.

  11. Ron says:

    Mayors need to drinky and they need luv too. LOL!

    1. LOL says:

      drunks and animals?
      for mayor?

  12. Jude says:

    Maybe this was a test to see if Frank and Amelia could report a story like this and not burst out laughing. I see no other reason to report this

    1. not a test says:

      prompter readers woab?
      not reliable thinkers. puppets?

  13. tom says:

    HEY folks wake up!!! This is 2011. EVERYTHING is newsworthy! Dont critize the media, we are not living in victorian times!

    1. tom and the wolf says:

      media responsible? Truthful? Grown up?
      We are living as in the days of Lot!
      Question everything the media says!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  14. tr says:

    …….this article ONLY represents the level of competence at wcco of the editor and the reporters extremely BAD judgement. That they would run this is ubelievablly bad judgement. NOBODY can say with a certainty EXACTLY what was going on and ANYTHING that is contrived from this is speculation and speculation only. NOTHING he did was illegal and and there are no complaints from anybody that would suggest otherwise. None of this should have ever even been made public but somehow ((the police)) it did. Even though it did become known it is reported only for sensationalism only and as such has slipped to channel 9 news and Tom Lyden level of news sensationalism. I have lost all interest in viewing channel 4 news after this and will now patronize either channel 5 or 11 as my news station. There will be no looking back for me after this ridiculous article. That they would print such a thing says much more about that news station then the article itself.

  15. wisfunny says:

    Yeah, I guess if it were union city workers somewhere drinking after hours in a city building it would be different than if the mayor did it… Not to mention the fun lawsuit that could happen if someone had got hurt or something.

    Don’t know if this was a great choice for a news article, but the public should know what’s going on.

    Not to mention that if I try coming in late to work with a co-worker and drinking, I may not have a job the next day.

  16. adventurous says:

    The publicity in this case is just radiculous. If the paper and TV are going to run a scandelous story they should, at the very least, give us all the details surrounding the incident. They didn’t report that there were many other people there that night that had just left. They didn’t report that the two officers involved have an axe to grind. If your going to report on such material give the public all the information they need to form an educated opinion of what really happened.

  17. Bo says:

    The message is clear, NEW RICHMOND, Wis MAYER wants City Hall to be a place for after hour socializing for drunken man and women.. If mayer office is equipped with hot tub and bed and charging fee to the public, it may attracted many people who seek new place for their sexual adventures.

  18. Rob says:

    To bad Frank didn’t have Gout or something. They could have reported on that instead. Frank eating the steak, the doctor’s visit, the pharmacy visit to pick up his prescription, Frank changing his diet, and finally Frank all better. It will be channel 5 for me from now on.

  19. Mayor Quimby "The Simpsons" says:

    By the way, this woman is not my wife, but I am sleeping with her. I tell you this because I am comfortable with my womanizing!

  20. Charlie Severson says:

    Does he have a right to be in a city building? Sure; he works for the city. Does he have the right to mess around with women. So long as they’re both consenting adults, absolutely. It’s a free country. But does he have the right to use a city building for this purpose? I don’t think so. I work in a restaurant, and I’m pretty sure I can’t have “relations” with anyone in the back stockroom…

  21. Justin says:

    Be a broadcast journalism student HAVING JUST LEARNED ABOUT THESE SITUATIONS last week, this story IS newsworthy because Horne is the Mayor(in which he becomes a limited public figure) and he also performed these actions in a pubic place(aka city hall building) so this story is legitimate. This is in no way different than reporting on Bill Clinton cheating on his wife. The only thing we don’t know in this story is whether or not the woman he was with is his wife or what that situation is. I understand why you may think that this story shouldn’t have been reported, and that is because these stories are RARELY reported by wcco.

  22. mayor got no private rights in public job says:

    is that you mayor????????????
    ya fied!!!!!!!!
    mayors got no rights but to do the job honestly…………..
    keep ya private stuff at home————-private………….
    stay out of our public property with yer private stufffffffffffffffffffffff
    ya fied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. disgusting says:

    The female turns out to be the state appointed fire hose inspector for St. Croix County. She was just doing her job. Leave them alone. They should be commended for not filing overtime requests. Afterall, this is Wisconsin people.

  24. 15 minutes of fame or vendetta says:

    Right after the officer was advised that everything (wink) was okay, the investigation should have stopped. No crime was committed. Unless the mayor or the girl called the press, how did this story get out? Maybe the officer should have gone out on patrol on “Lovers lane”. At least then he would not have been reporting on non-crimes, and the press releases would not have been needed.

  25. Peeping Tom says:

    The Mayor may have a right to be there, but not for personal business. Tell him to go rent a room at a motel.
    On the other hand were the cops actions politically motivated?

  26. Nothing better to do says:

    Out of the whole state of Minnesota there was nothing of any interest or importance that this story not only needed top billing on this web sight it had to come from some small town across the boarder. Come on now stop trolling the web for stories WCCO and write your own dribble.

  27. Elmo says:

    If it were an Unemployed Citizen, homeless and living in the basement. They would have been charged, put in jail, and fined big time. But now, it was just the City Mayor. He swore and Oath to do what is Best for the City, and offer all that he can do for the City. So guess the city gets F#*+ed from him, again.

  28. swen beck says:

    This is the kind of hard-hitting investigative journalism that leads to Pulitzer Prizes! I heard that the mayor doesn’t have a legal birth certificate and believes the Moon walk was faked. Perhaps we could get a story on news organizations wasting gas to drive 60 miles to find out there was no story.

    Did you see Frank V’s side look at the reporter? Isn’t he married? That was definitely bedroom eyes. Maybe KSTP can do a story on that.

  29. The Joker says:

    It needs to be added that the Chief of Police (Mark Samelstad) and Horne are currently at odds because of a hostile work environment investigation that is in-progress against Samelstad. Kufus and de la Cruz are both very self-promoting and basically been promised promotions by the chief as a result of this. Axe to grind? You betcha. Should also be added that Kufus and de la Cruz made the decision not to use their discretion and make this into a full-fledged police report that is made to the public. If that doesnt paint a better picture for you, I dont know what will. The mayors actions here show a lapse of judgement no doubt, and if you look at the bigger picture and have all the facts, you will see an even bigger lapse of judgement on the part of others involved.

  30. grizzlyman says:

    Slow news day?

  31. Ivan R. Vernon says:

    Was this a Democrat? Maybe he was just trying to emulate Clinton’s White House antics!

  32. T|TSorGTF0 says:


  33. rufus mcdude says:

    yer all a bunch of drunk slobs

  34. The Man says:

    What the reporter forgot to mention was there was an investigation by the mayor against the Chief of Police at this same time so the Chief had a hard-on for the mayor. But you won’t see the news story about the many complaints against the Chief. Why is that? Let’s just cover the gossip stories but not the real news. You call that reporting? Why was a police report done on the mayor in the first place? That seems like better nes tome!

  35. Elle says:

    What surprises me is no one bothered to mention that he couldn’t walk home…that would be called public intoxication and is a crime. Sooooooo why didn’t more happen?

    Its plenty news worthy. If my mayor was a nasty immoral person, I’d want to know.

    1. me says:

      How come there is almost nothing mentioned about the woman? Who was she? Why was she there? (Well, other than the obvious!) Did the police talk to her? What did she say about the situation? Etc. Public intoxication in a public building by a public official who may also be fornicating in a public building (or maybe not, we don’t know from the story) IS sorta newsworthy.

  36. Jon says:

    This “story” was published in May. It is now mid-August. Why is this still even listed as a current event?

    If I want news and current events, it won’t be here. For that matter, don’t know why else I’d come back here.

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