Report details lawmakers' rendezvous

A newly released police report and Sheriff’s email is shedding more light on what may have transpired during a park rendezvous between Minnesota State Representatives Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) and Tara Mack (R-Apple Valley).

According to the police report, written by Dakota County Park Ranger Jordan Moses, he was on routine patrol August 25 through the Lebanon Hills Visitors Center in Apple Valley, and noticed two cars parked remotely in the north parking lot.  Young children were playing in the south parking lot.

“When I was roughly 20 yards away,” Ranger Moses writes, “I noticed both parties were leaned in towards the center of the car engaging in intimate behavior.”

When the trooper was approximately four feet away from the car he asked them what they were doing there. “Nothing, is there a problem?” Kelly responded.

The trooper writes that Mack’s pants and belt were pulled down to mid-thigh, and she was wearing blue/teal underwear.  Ranger Moses writes that he asked, “Why the female’s pants were pulled down. They both gave no response to the question and the female tried to cover herself up by repositioning in her seat and folding her hands above the exposed area.”

When Mack returned to her car to get her drivers license, “She stepped out of the car and pulled her pants up as she walked towards (the car).  As she was walking, I could distinctly hear the sound of her belt as she fastened it back into place,” Ranger Moses writes.

The trooper writes he told them they were committing an act that constitutes a nuisance and issued them both citations. 

Soon after the incident, Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie writes in an email that he called Rep. Mack as a professional courtesy.  He said he was sorry it happened, and explained she can pay a fine or dispute the charge. 

“She said she was glad the deputy came along to save her from an uncomfortable situation,” Sheriff Leslie writes.  “She referred to it as divine intervention. She said she was grateful.”

But Sheriff Leslie writes, she called back and had “changed her tune,” after hearing there were written details regarding the citation.  Sheriff Leslie informed her that in essence the report said she was in a car with her pants down and unzipped.

“She did not comment other than to say this is very salacious and she is married to a minister and her career could be ruined,” Sheriff Leslie writes.

Sheriff Leslie said he responded, “I said I understood that but if you are choosing to say that the park ranger lied or is not telling the truth than I have a big problem.”

Sheriff Leslie writes that Mack then asked if the ranger was wearing a body camera.  “I said no,” Sheriff Leslie writes.  “His word against yours.”

Mack said the ranger told them to “get a hotel.”

When the incident was disclosed last week by the Pioneer Press, Mack and Kelly insisted they were simply exchanging documents in the park, strongly denying any romantic encounter. They accused the ranger of lying in his report and said they would file a complaint with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office.  Days later, citing family concerns, they said they would not fight the citation and pay the nuisance fines. 

We reached out to Representative Kelly and Mack’s offices at the Capitol for comment.  They have yet to return our phone calls.