Domestic Violence and Residency Controversies Drive Minnesota Democrats to Expel State Rep. Thompson.
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) caucus in the Minnesota House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to remove state Representative John Thompson, who has been entangled in issues since the summer.
The Democrat will lose access to DFL legislative staff and resources, as well as his committee assignments, as a result of his expulsion. He will, however, remain a state lawmaker and retain his salary and benefits unless he resigns or is ousted from the Legislature, which would require a vote of the whole House.
Thompson has been frequently asked to resign by lawmakers from both parties and Democratic Governor Tim Walz, but he has resisted.
“Rep. Thompson’s behavior, serious claims of abuse and misconduct, and his inability to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of the Minnesota House,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said in a joint statement.
Thompson has been the subject of public scrutiny since receiving a driving violation over the Fourth of July weekend in July.
Following the meeting with the police, the state legislator accused the St. Paul police of racial profiling, which the agency categorically denied. Thompson was publically chastised by Police Chief Todd Axtell for failing to apologize to the sergeant who stopped him for driving without a front license plate.
Thompson presented the police with a Wisconsin driver’s license at the time of the citation, raising questions about whether he lives in the parliamentary district he represents.
Domestic abuse allegations, which are contained in public records, were uncovered shortly after. Between 2003 and 2011, many incidents of suspected choking and punching by Thompson were reported to police. All of the charges have been refuted by him.
Thompson addressed the ongoing controversies on Facebook on Tuesday. Following his mother’s death and the widely publicized police execution of his “close friend” Philando Castile, a black motorist, during a traffic check, he described 2016 as “an extraordinarily terrible year.”
“Some are currently claiming that I am unfit to serve in this legislative position because of previous allegations against me,” Thompson wrote. “The truth is, I don’t have a single hateful bone in my body for anything other than the blatant racism that exists all around the world and that some pretend doesn’t.”
“Allegations concerning something that allegedly,” he said. This is a condensed version of the information.