On August 25, two state lawmakers—Minnesota House Republicans Tim Kelly and Tara Mack—were issued citations by a park ranger for “making out” in a car. The pair, who are both married to other people, issued statements today apologizing for accusing the park ranger of lying about the incident.

Originally, Mack described the ranger’s statements in the public nuisance citation (which included that Mack was not wearing pants) as “egregious and false,” while Kelly called it “an absolute lie.” Below is Kelly’s original and highly detailed alternate-universe version of events, via the Washington Post:

“I was driving down to Red Wing through Eagan last Tuesday and met Rep. Mack to pick up some documents regarding South Country Health Alliance. When we met, a park ranger approached my vehicle and told me I was double-parked. I disputed his characterization and got out of the car to take a picture. He became visibly agitated and returned to his own car. Approximately ten minutes later, he returned to my vehicle with a parking ticket citing a nuisance. When I asked what that meant, he responded ‘whatever I want it to mean.’”

He went on to imply to the Red Wing Republican Eagle that the citation was somehow part of a political conspiracy, saying “it just seems very convenient it’s released now.”

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Despite their vehement denials, both lawmakers each paid their $260 fines, and did not follow up on threats to file a complaint against the ranger. In response to an open records request from the Associated Press, Sheriff Tim Leslie shared his correspondence with Mack, who did not respond well upon learning that the park ranger’s notes would be public. According to the Star Tribune, Leslie wrote:

“She did not comment other than to say this is very salacious and that she is married to a minister and her career could be ruined. I said I understood that but if you are choosing to say that the park ranger lied ... I have a big problem.”

After pressure from House Democrats, Mack and Kelly both released statements on Monday apologizing for their behavior towards Jordan Moses, the park ranger. Mack’s statement is as follows:

“Since becoming a State Representative in 2009, I have been a strong supporter of our men and women in law enforcement. I understand that the Park Ranger was trying to do his job. I have the utmost respect for the work law enforcement does to keep Minnesotans safe and I apologize for offending these great men and women.”

And Kelly’s statement:

“After serious reflection on the last two weeks, I can say that I am disappointed in myself for the way I handled my disagreement with a park ranger. I reacted to this in an emotional way and certainly without respect and professionalism. Several of my own family members serve in law enforcement and I have nothing but respect for the entire community. There is a proper way to handle conflicts and as a state representative you should certainly expect me to do so. I apologize to my constituents, to the law enforcement community and to the state of Minnesota.”

Both Kelly and Mack have since been removed from the legislature’s ethics committee, where the pair was undoubtedly inspired by a “just go for it!” attitude on equivocation and adultery.


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

Image via screengrab.