Robbinsdale councilmember charged in DWI police chase completes rehab

Tyler Kline was arrested shortly after midnight on Monday following a chase, prosecutors say.

Robbinsdale City Council member Tyler Kline was charged with fleeing from police and driving under the influence back in January. Since then, he’s apologized for the incident while vowing to remain in his city council seat. Only, now a growing number of people in town are rallying to have him removed in a special election.

Police say Kline had a .20 blood alcohol content about an hour after allegedly driving the wrong way down Highway 100 and fleeing from police officers who used pit maneuvers to stop him.

"When you wake up in jail, and you don’t really remember what happened it’s pretty easy to recognize that you have a problem," Kline told FOX 9 on Monday. "It was kind of drink after drink and that was the last thing I remember before really waking up in jail."

Months after his release from custody, Kline says he’s completed a 5-week rehab program through Hazelden and has been sober for about 80 days, "Alcohol wasn’t helping my life in any way, and I’m just moving on without it," Kline said.

"Do you still work as a bartender?" FOX 9’s Babs Santos asked Kline. 

"Because there are bills that still need to be paid, two weeks ago I went back to my role working one night a week doing that," Kline answered.

Kline has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and wants to use the rock-bottom moment to change for the better. But two fellow Robbinsdale city council members have asked him to step down.

"Those are people not in Ward 1, and I was elected to represent the people of Ward 1… I understand why they feel that way, and I’m just trying to do everything I can every day to show the people that I’m still the person they elected," Kline said.

"I think that’s really selfish on his part because he was voted in by Robbinsdale residents prior to him being charged with a DWI and a subsequent felony," Former 2-term Robbinsdale mayor Regan Murphy told FOX 9. "The person who was charged with a DWI and felony is not who Robbinsdale elected."

Regan feels Tyler owes it to the community to step down – calling the situation a distraction that is bringing negative attention to the community – and now Regan is spearheading a campaign to have Kline recalled. 

Volunteers are canvassing neighborhoods in Kline’s ward to collect 654 signatures in 30 days, which would trigger a special August election for Kline’s seat.

"We want to make sure that this isn’t in any way a personal attack on Tyler Kline," Murphy said. "I think it’s ideal that he steps down and focuses on his personal life and his journey to sobriety."

"[The incident] happened in Robbinsdale, he ran into police vehicles and damaged public property and he fled police; he’s in charge of voting on the budget for the police department," Kline continued.

"I won an election to represent the community and that’s what I will do until I don’t win an election to serve the community," Kline finished.