Former campaign manager accused of bribery fired from job as union leader

A former local campaign manager currently under investigation for bribery has now been fired from her job as president of a local labor union.

Angela Marlow, formerly a campaign manager for St. Paul mayoral candidate Dai Thao, was dismissed Monday as president of AFSCME Local 8, which represents 969 Ramsey County employees. The entire board of Local 8 was also dismissed.

“There is reason to believe that an emergency situation exists in Local 8 and that the local is acting in violation of our international union constitution,” said Jennifer Munt, a spokesperson for AFSCME Council 5, reading from a prepared statement. “Our international union has placed Local 8 in an administratorship to protect the local members. We can’t comment further."

In a text message, Marlow told FOX 9 her dismissal is “nothing but internal politics.” 

On April 29, St. Paul City Councilman Dai Thao fired Marlow as his mayoral campaign manager after the FOX 9 Investigators presented him with text messages Marlow sent to local lobbyist Sarah Clarke. 

Those text messages were sent on Feb. 22, just a few hours after Clarke met with Dai Thao and two of her clients from the take-out container industry to discuss a ban on certain styrofoam products in the city.  

“Dai asked me to see if I could get a donation from your clients or yourself for his mayor campaign?,” Marlow wrote. “We will certainly rethink this issue. We are also happy to support Jacob in his mayor’s run as well.”

Clarke’s husband is Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey, who is running for mayor in Minneapolis.

The day after firing Marlow, Thao defended her, saying the controversy was orchestrated by his political opponents.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman asked Police Chief Todd Axtell to look into the matter, though to avoid a conflict of interest, the bribery investigation is being handled by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A spokesperson for the BCA said the investigation is still on-going. 

Marlow is currently employed in the Child Support Services Division of the Ramsey County Attorney's Office as a Support Enforcement Agent.  A spokesperson for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office said a complaint has been made against Marlow, and an "employment investigation" is underway.