Judge Weighing Disorderly Conduct Count Against Former Nisswa Mayor
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge is expected to rule within weeks whether to toss out a disorderly conduct charge against a former central Minnesota mayor who yelled at police for making a traffic stop.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday that then-Nisswa Mayor Fred Heidmann was arrested in August last year after he confronted officers who were trying to make a traffic stop on State Highway 71. He allegedly yelled at officers that they should be patrolling neighborhoods rather than making traffic stops.
After telling Heidmann to stand back several times, officers handcuffed him and put him in the back of squad car. He was charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. The Nisswa City Council censured him and asked him to resign. He refused but lost his re-election bid in November.
A judge dropped the obstruction count and now Heidmann is fighting to get the disorderly conduct charge tossed as well. He argues the arrest violated his free speech rights.
Prosecutors counter that he was standing close to the officers, gesturing with his hands and coming near their faces and that was enough to justify the charge.
Crow Wing County Judge Kristine DeMay is expected to decide in June whether to dismiss the charge.