Eric Harpel, GOP chairman, accused of threatening another woman

McLeod County Republican Party chairman Eric Harpel threatened another woman and her husband last week, according to the woman's attorney.

Harpel had a restraining order taken out against him by state representative Mary Franson last month. Franson accused Harpel of being a "stalker." That disclosure caused two McLeod County Republican leaders to resign in protest.

Now one of the women, former vice chair Marie Thurn, has retained a lawyer to protect her from Harpel after he sent her a message through a third party.

"There is at this point concerns for her personal safety by her and her husband," says Thurn's attorney Scott Nokes, confirming that the message was threatening.

On June 15, Nokes said, he sent a letter to Eric Harpel asking Harpel not to have any further contact with Marie Thurn or her husband, Francis. The couple are concerned for their safety.

Nokes wouldn't elaborate, except to say the letter made clear "that Mr. Thurn and Mrs. Thurn would like to be left alone and have no contact from Mr. Harpel, and there's certainly a good reason why we sent that letter."

Thurn wouldn't comment further, Nokes said, "out of an abundance of caution here because of other legal matters pending that it would be in her best interest not to give any more statements or information that might be construed by Mr. Harpel as stirring the pot."

Nokes wouldn't elaborate on the message from the third party.

The letter follows allegations by Rep. Mary Franson that Harpel "stalked" her after their breakup in January, sending her threatening messages. At one point, Franson claimed, Harpel showed up at her St. Paul apartment unannounced. He made an odd demand, Franson claimed.

""I asked him when I could get my belongings and he said he wanted my panties in exchange," Franson told the court. "I told him he was a pervert and to get out -- he left."

Harpel did not return a message seeking comment on Thurn's allegations.


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