MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Nisswa City Council held a special meeting on Friday night to discuss Mayor Fred Heidmann’s altercation with Pequot Lakes Police at the end of August.
On Friday, the city council heard from community members during a public comment period. They then voted on three motions, all of which passed.
The council voted to censure their mayor, formally request his resignation, and remove him from all internal committees for the remainder of his term.
The Aug. 29 incident was caught on camera, and the video has now gone viral. According to a Pequot Lakes Police report, officers were conducting a traffic stop on Highway 371, and Heidmann was filming their interaction while standing near the traffic lane.
“What are you guys doing?” Heidmann asks the officer. “Don’t you guys have something better to do?”
The officer asks him to stand in a spot further away from their squad cars, after which the body camera video shows Heidmann saying “F*** you guys,” to the officers, and adding “You’re as bad as the f***ing dinks down in Minneapolis.” He was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.
At the meeting, City Attorney Tom Pearson noted that the city’s options are fairly limited in the event of mayoral discipline. Because of their status as an elected officials, the council can make internal changes, but are limited in their capacity to directly remove the mayor.
Acting Mayor Gary Johnson opened the meeting by thanking the two officers at the scene. “In this instance to have somebody approach from the rear, being belligerent, shouting obscenities, I can’t imagine having the restraint and control and patience you showed. I want you to know that we as a council support you and all of our local cops in everything you do,” he said.
“As for Mr. Heidmann, and I’m making a point of not using the term ‘mayor,'” he continued, ” we are once again forced to hold a special meeting to address the decisions you have made. Your latest selfish and childish antics have resulted the city staff having to spend all week dealing with phone calls, emails, Facebook posts etc. of many many angry citizens from all over the country.”
Heidmann was not present at the meeting.