ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota lawmaker says she’s focusing on her family and moving on after being ticketed for “making out” in a public park.
Republican State Rep. Tara Mack returned to the State Capitol for the first time on Thursday, and took reporters’ questions about the Aug. 25 incident. She said she hasn’t decided whether to run for re-election in 2016.READ MORE: Fmr. Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty To ‘Sextortion Scheme’ Involving More Than 10 Minors
Mack has been unavailable for comment on the incident last month, which she publicly denied and said the park ranger lied.
She later apologized and paid a fine, but she is still disputing the ranger’s account.
“It’s been a really difficult couple of weeks for me and my family,” said Mack, of Apple Valley. “I paid the citation. I am focusing on the job I have to do here at the Capitol for the State of Minnesota, and focusing on my family and focusing on moving forward.”
Mack and fellow GOP lawmaker Tim Kelly, who are both married to other people, were ticketed by a park ranger for creating a public nuisance.
The citation from the incident said the two were “making out” and she was partially undressed, a claim she denied at the time, and won’t discuss now.
“I disagree with some of what he claims,” she said.READ MORE: University Of North Dakota Aerospace School Halts Flights After Student Dies In Crash
GOP House Speaker Kurt Daudt says he spoke with both lawmakers, and is satisfied with their explanation and public apologies, but he says he never asked them what happened, because it’s irrelevant.
“I think both of them have a very good reputation around the Capitol,” Daudt said. “They are both very well respected. They work across the aisle. And they both have a good record of accomplishment here at the Capitol.”
Mack says she won’t discuss any details of the incident, and expects to remain the Chair of the powerful Health Care Policy Committee.
“I am at work,” she said. “I am doing my job, representing my constituents and doing work for the state of Minnesota.”
Mack and Kelly apologized publicly to law enforcement for calling the incident report “false” and “a lie”.
Democratic leaders say the apology doesn’t go far enough.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen is calling on both of them to apologize directly to the park ranger who issued the citation for creating a public nuisance.MORE NEWS: State Auditor: St. Paul School Lost $4.3 Million In Risky Hedge Fund Investment
“I continue to hear from members who are concerned that Rep. Kelly and Rep. Mack keep avoiding the central question about whether their initial claims that the officer lied were false, which leaves the serious charges they made against the officer unresolved,” said Thissen said. “Rep. Mack says she disagrees with the officer, but of course, won’t say what she disagrees with. She, and Rep. Kelly, should have the decency to take responsibility for their actions and apologize to the officer directly.”