Rep. Kerry Gauthier under investigation for "suspicious activity" at highway rest stop

Gauthier is under investigation for as-of-yet unspecified rest-stop shenanigans.
Gauthier is under investigation for as-of-yet unspecified rest-stop shenanigans.

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The Duluth News Tribune is calling out the State Patrol and Duluth Police Department for not releasing more information about a mysterious rest stop incident involving state Rep. Kerry Gauthier, D-Duluth.

Gauthier is under investigation for an incident that took place July 22  around 11 p.m. at the Thompson Hill rest area off Interstate 35 near Proctor. But the Tribune's efforts to gather purportedly public information about what exactly happened have been stymied.

In one report, the Tribune contacted Gauthier, a 56-year-old first-term legislator, and asked him about the investigation.

"I think it's a private matter and I don't need to talk about it," he said.

There were reportedly two witnesses to whatever Gauthier was up to at that rest stop, but they haven't publicly shared what they saw.

The city of Duluth released a statement that sheds a small bit of light on the incident.

"On July 22nd, 2012, at 11:27 p.m., Duluth police responded to the Thompson Hill rest area to assist the Minnesota State Patrol with a 'suspicious activity' call," the statement says. "A result of this call is the Duluth Police Department has an active investigation ongoing at this time. No further information is available at this time."

But authorities apparently continue to drag their heels. From another Tribune report:

Minnesota State Patrol and Duluth Police Department officials initially denied a request by the News Tribune for public information pertaining to an incident allegedly involving state Rep. Kerry Gauthier last week, saying the data wasn't public.

Minnesota law requires certain information on calls for service to police to be made public -- regardless of whether the call results in a criminal investigation -- including the date and time of the call, agencies involved, the nature of the request of the activity being complained of, and witnesses to the incident, according to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act...

After the News Tribune informed the agencies of what records should be public under state law, the information was released, though only details on the time, date and place of the call, and that it was a response to a report of "suspicious activity."

However, according to the Data Practices Act, the agencies should also release "a brief factual reconstruction of events associated with" a police response call.

Was Rep. Gauthier having rest-stop sexual relations? Doing drugs? Listening to too-loud rock 'n' roll? We'll certainly fill you in if and when authorities get around to releasing more information.

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