Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) - Two days after embattled House Democrat Kerry Gauthier was admitted to St Luke’s Hospital on Wednesday for unknown reasons, top House Republican and the Republican Chairman of the Public Safety Committee on which Gauthier is a member says the Duluth Representative should be removed.
Gauthier admitted to police in Duluth that he put an ad on Craigslist seeking male sex at the highway rest stop off Interstate 35.
Police reports say he lied about meeting the high school boy at first, and he also lied about why he was at the rest stop.
Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers issued a statement early Friday evening urging Gauthier to step down.
“While no charges have been filed, the reported incident with a minor and subsequent lying to police show Representative Gauthier to be unfit to continue serving his constituents in Duluth,” said Zellers. “I believe we have given Representative Gauthier and the Democrat Caucus a respectful amount of time to address this situation on their own. Representative Gauthier’s actions are not becoming of a member of the House of Representatives, and today I am calling on him to resign from the Legislature.”
And Representative Tony Cornish told WCCO on Friday that he won’t have credibility on a legislative committee that oversees law enforcement.
“Especially on my committee, we are supposed to watch out for juveniles and not have sex with juveniles. And it just presents a problem when you are at a place, and the Craigslist part of it all presents a real ethical problem,” said Cornish.
If Rep. Gauthier doesn’t cede to pressure and resign, he may be removed from a sensitive committee like Public Safety.
And it’s likely there could be an ethics complaint against him as well for what’s called “conduct unbecoming” of a member of the legislature.