Fri. May 24th, 2024

Minnesota state senator arrested on suspicion of burglary

By 37ci3 Apr23,2024

MINNEAPOLIS – State senator and former broadcast meteorologist was arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of burglary in Detroit Lakes, in northwest Minnesota, police said.

Sen. Nicole Mitchell, a 49-year-old Democrat from Woodbury, was being held in the Becker County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary. Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd said formal charges were still pending Monday afternoon.

Mitchell did not immediately return a call left on the jail’s voice mail system for inmates. It is not known whether he has an attorney available to comment on his behalf. The police chief said he was not aware of them.

Mitchell was arrested while the Senate was on Easter recess. His arrest comes at an awkward time for Senate Democrats, who hold only a one-seat majority with four weeks to go before the legislative session. Its absence will make it difficult to pass any legislation without bipartisan support.

Mitchell served in the U.S. Army and as a meteorologist for KSTP-TV and Minnesota Public Radio before being elected to the Senate in 2022 from a suburban St. Paul district. His official profile says he still serves as a lieutenant colonel commanding an air unit in the Air National Guard. He worked at The Weather Channel earlier in his career, his profile says.

Todd said in an interview that dispatchers received a 911 call at 4:45 a.m. from a homeowner reporting an “active residential burglary.” Officers searched the home and arrested Mitchell, Todd said.

The police chief said the case is still under investigation, as he could provide few other details. He said he was waiting to hear back from the county attorney’s office and that the complaint detailing the allegations could not be filed until Tuesday.

Becker County Prosecutor Brian McDonald did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the matter.

Public records and an obituary published by a Detroit Lakes funeral home show that Mitchell’s father and stepmother, who died last month, lived on the same block of Detroit Lakes road where the senator was arrested. The stepmother did not immediately return a call for comment.

Mitchell’s arrest caught Senate leaders by surprise. The Senate Democratic Caucus said in a statement that it was “aware of the situation and has no comment pending further information.”

Senate Majority Leader Mark Johnson, a Republican from East Grand Forks, said he was shocked but knew few details.

“The public expects lawmakers to meet high standards of conduct,” Johnson said. “As information emerges, we expect the results to reflect actions both in court and in his role in the legislature.”

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By 37ci3

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