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Rep. Thompson to apologize for saying member is 'a racist,' ethics complaint dismissed

Rep. John Thompson (DFL-St. Paul) has agreed to apologize the next time the House convenes for calling a Republican member racist during the June 19 special session.

The agreement dismisses a complaint filed by Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) and five other Republicans that cites an exchange between Thompson and Lucero, saying Thompson interrupted Lucero on the House Floor several times and twice said, “I know you’re a racist.”

Thompson did not speak at Friday’s House Ethics Committee meeting, other than to acknowledge the agreement.

"Apologizing isn't always easy, and you've done that and I thank you for that," said Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls), the committee chair.

Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) said the public expects legislators to act with integrity, respect and fairness. “We have a code of conduct that we are responsible to uphold. … It’s a good experience that all of us realize that apologies can be made and that we learn a lesson about following our code of conduct.”

The committee’s rules say it shall meet to determine whether there is probable cause to support a complaint and, if a majority determines there is, another hearing would then be held to weigh whether disciplinary action is warranted.

“If a majority of the whole Committee finds clear and convincing evidence in support of disciplinary action, the Committee shall, with or without comment, make a recommendation to the House for final disposition,” the rules read.

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