It’s hot and stuffy in a Health and Human Services Reform committee room. Some boring guy is prattling on about a bill nobody cares about. Suddenly their eyes meet. She’s sporting that conservative pantsuit that drives him wild. Him, a fairly generic tie that was on sale at Kohl’s, but brings out the fiscal restraint in his eyes.
It’s like the start of a Danielle Steel novel written for Reagan worshipers.
And perhaps that’s how alleged flames between state representatives Tim Kelly of Red Wing and Tara Mack of Apple Valley sparked (or didn’t). The two Republican legislators have been accused of getting frisky in an Eagan park last week — allegations both strongly deny.
On August 25, a Dakota County sheriff’s deputy spotted the lawmakers “making out” in a parked car in Lebanon Hills Regional Park, the Pioneer Press reports. According to court records, as the deputy approached the alleged vehicular love nest he noticed that “the female’s pants were unzipped and pulled down.” Kelly, 51, and Mack, 32, were cited for committing an act that constitutes a nuisance.
Both are married to other people and have children.
But Kelly says that’s not how it went down. The allegedly tongue-y rep didn’t respond to an interview request, but issued a statement through a GOP House spokesperson. According to Kelly, he was cruising through Eagan en route to Red Wing and stopped to receive some documents (not a euphemism) from Mack regarding a health plan.
When they met, a “park ranger” came up to his car and told him he was double parked.
“I disputed his characterization and got out of the car to take a picture,” Kelly says in the statement. “He became visibly agitated and returned to his own car. Approximately 10 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.’
“I’ve since learned the park ranger included false information in his notes that I understand have now been illegally obtained. What he wrote is an absolute lie and I intend on filing a complaint.”
Mack issued a similar statement blasting the “officer’s egregious and false statements.” Both say they plan to file complaints and that the info was obtained illegally, presumably by the PiPress which broke the story. However, it wasn’t immediately clear what they're talking about, since police reports and court records are public records. We've asked House Republican Caucus spokeswoman Susan Clasmore, who distributed the statements, for an explanation but have not heard back.
Kelly and Mack were both elected in 2008 and chair the transportation and health and human services committees, respectively.