Senator Draheim Critical of Democrats After a Senator Charged with Felony Burglary

Published On: April 26th, 20242.1 min readCategories: Local News, News

In a decisive move to protect the ethical standards of the Minnesota Senate, State Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) and Senate Republicans on Wednesday lodged a formal ethics complaint against Democrat Sen. Nicole Mitchell following her recent arrest and charge with felony first-degree burglary. Senate Democrats have declined to address the severity of Sen. Mitchell’s conduct, demand Sen. Mitchell’s resignation, or even to strip her of committee roles, prompting Republicans to protect the integrity of the Senate, Draheim said.

During a Senate Floor session on Wednesday, Draheim proposed a motion for the Rules Committee to swiftly start an investigation into Sen. Mitchell’s felony criminal accusation.

“Senators are expected to maintain the highest standard of ethical behavior,” Sen. Draheim said. “This breach of public trust is unacceptable. It’s imperative that the Senate begin due process proceedings under the ethics complaint, in line with Senate procedures. An immediate review of this serious felony accusation is the only way to protect the honor and integrity of the Senate.”

The ethics complaint was filed with Senate President Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) shortly before the Wednesday floor session. It documents three different rules Sen. Mitchell has broken:

  • 56.1 Members shall adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct as embodied in the Minnesota Constitution, state law, and these rules.
  • 56.2 A member shall not publish or distribute written material if the member knows or has reason to know that the material includes any statement that is false or clearly misleading, concerning a public policy issue or concerning the member’s or another member’s voting record or position on a public policy issue.
  • 56.3 Improper conduct includes conduct that violates a rule or administrative policy of the Senate, that violates accepted norms of Senate behavior, that betrays the public trust, or that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor or disrepute.

The ethics complaint also asserts due process and reiterates that Sen. Mitchell remains innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. However, Draheim said the higher ethical standards expected of public officials require the Senate to investigation Sen. Mitchell’s conduct separately in order to protect the integrity of the Senate.

“The charges against Sen. Mitchell overshadow the integrity of the entire Minnesota Senate and any bills it passes until this issue is resolved,” Draheim said. “It is clear in the criminal complaint: after receiving her Miranda rights, Sen. Mitchell admitted, ‘I know I did something wrong.’ It is critical that the Senate confront this ethical breach quickly and decisively.”

Share This Story!