In the wake of a series of controversies and allegations of past criminal activity, politicians on both sides of the aisle in Minnesota are now calling for the resignation of state Rep. John Thompson, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, as Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reports.
The controversy for Thompson began following a July 4 traffic stop in which Thompson was pulled over by police in St. Paul for driving a vehicle that was not equipped with a front license plate, according to local Fox affiliate KMSP.
During that incident, Thompson accused St. Paul Police Sgt. Peter Crum of engaging in unfair racial profiling, conduct which the officer denied. Ultimately, the St. Paul Police Department made the decision to release body cam footage of the exchange in which Thompson presented a Wisconsin driver’s license which, upon investigation by Crum, was discovered to be under a current suspension.
Not only was Thompson’s license invalid, it had also been renewed in Wisconsin as recently as November of last year, the same time he was first elected to serve in Minnesota’s legislature, a fact which has raised serious questions of whether he was a resident of the district from which he claims to hail.
Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that when investigating the residency questions surrounding Thompson, the local Fox affiliate station unearthed information regarding four domestic violence matters in which the lawmaker is accused of punching, choking, and hitting women in separate incidents spanning the years of 2003 and 2009, with some of the incidents allegedly occurring in the presence of young kids.
In light of these and other revelations about Thompson’s past, a number of the state’s highest-ranking Democrats, including Gov. Tim Walz and House Speaker Melissa Hortman are now calling for his job, according to MPR.
“The alleged acts of violence against multiple women outlined in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing, Walz said in a statement, adding, “Minnesotans deserve representatives of the highest moral character, who uphold our shared values. Representative Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should immediately resign.”
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan added her name to the list of those demanding Thompson’s resignation, saying, “As a mom, advocate for children, and survivor and child witness of domestic violence, I know the deeply traumatic impact of the actions outlined in reports against Representative Thompson,” continuing, “Someone who has allegedly demonstrated this violent pattern of behavior…is unfit to serve in elected office.”
Though Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has indicated that members of his party have have “prepared additional ethics complaints that will be filed Monday in the event Representative Thompson does not resign,” the embattled lawmaker’s attorney declared on Saturday that his client had no plans to leave office.