COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (FOX 9) - Following a unanimous vote by the Columbia Heights City Council to censure fellow council member KT Jacobs for alleged racial discrimination, Jacobs has announced the intent to file a petition in Anoka County District Court against the council for, "the unlawful weaponization of government against her."
Through the censure vote in October 2022, Jacobs’ colleagues on the council stripped her of the ability to serve on commissions or boards, before also requesting that she resign. Jacobs declined the request, despite public pressure to do so.
According to an announcement by Greg Joseph of the Joseph Law Office, the council "launched a campaign on pretextual grounds to attempt to forcibly remove her from office," resulting in an effort that was "badly legally deficient."
Jacobs was previously the center of an investigation after city council candidate Justice Spriggs claimed she made several offensive comments during a phone call in the summer of 2022., allegedly questioning whether he was bi-racial. Jacobs originally claimed it was a family member who made the phone call, but an outside investigation found evidence to the contrary.
The Columbia Heights City Charter reserves the ability to recall elected officials from office for its residents, so long as very specific conditions are met.
However, "Despite the residents’ failure to allege any conduct which even approaches the necessary legal standard for removal, and in the face of a petition which was obviously defective in numerous respects, the politically driven city council ordered a special election for her recall anyway," the announcement says.
"This has been a very difficult 14 months and counting. I have remained quiet as misinformation and lies have been circulated about me. I sat quietly as vile comments, death threats, and the threat of our home being burned down, put my and my husband’s well-being in jeopardy," said council member Jacobs in a statement. "Through it all, I have been steadfast in my belief in a system that provides for fair and equitable treatment under the law. That is the only thing I seek."
While Jacobs term does not end until January 2025, community members could still force a recall if they receive enough resident signatures.