House may move to expel Gauthier

There are serious discussions underway among Republican legislators to take up a motion to expel Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth during today’s special session.

GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean said removing Gauthier is “a possibility” when asked about discussions to expel the first-term member. Dean said any member can make a motion when the Legislature convenes for the Special Session at 2 p.m.

The House would need 90 votes to take up the resolution, meaning a block of DFLers would have to agree that Gauthier’s conduct was severe enough that he needs to be removed from office. It would also take 90 votes to expel Gauthier from office. The Minnesota Constitution gives the Legislature the power to govern the behavior of its members and punish them for “disorderly behavior.”

Gauthier said earlier this week that he would not run for re-election after it became public that he engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old boy at a public rest stop near Duluth. GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and other Republicans have called on Gauthier to resign immediately. Democrats have asked him to not run for re-election but have stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Gauthier said he will not attend today’s Special Session because he doesn’t want to be a distraction.

  • John

    Really, Republicans? REALLY? You sure you think you have the high moral ground on the sex scandal issue, after Koch and her escapades? And Brodkorb? And who knows who else? Gauthier’s actions are indefensible, yes…but I’ll say this: at least they didn’t occur AT THE CAPITOL! At least they aren’t costing the state six figures in LAWSUITS! Wow. Just, wow. It’s almost funny how stupid the Republicans are being in trying to bring up the issue of a sex scandal, when their own house is hardly in order on this issue. Hypocrite City, USA.

  • Enrique

    If Gauthier is expelled, would Dayton be able to call a special election for his seat? Seems the DFL would benefit from this move if he could.

  • BJ

    To close to the actual election. They would be better served to expel him after he is reelected (if he is – he can’t ‘officially’ drop out) then they can do a special election. But I think the GOP candidate might just get elected in a few weeks.

  • Bob

    Save the name calling for another article. A 50+ year old guy and a 17 yr old boy in a rest stop. This guy should get fired immediately and thrown in jail. That’s sick and disgraceful. Period.

  • John

    Koch – and others? – cheated on their spouses, seemingly while working at the Capitol. Now the state is already on the hook for over $100,000 in legal fees from the resulting litigation from Michael Brodkorb. Funny, I think that might be relevant to the discussion. And I never said what Gauthier did was OK. I just think people in very, very thin glass houses ought not to be throwing lots of stones. Call me crazy.

  • Jay

    Speaker Zellers stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Senator Koch while she was doing conduct unbecoming of a member of the legislature (likely) right @ the State Capitol.

    … why the double standard here?

  • Mr. Fubo

    Where is the teen’s father? Why does this congressman have any teeth left?

  • Claire

    What a bunch of puritanical hypocrites! The Republicans don’t like Rep. Gauthier because he was an effective legislator, outspoken and in their faces. So they are doing their best to destroy him. Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone! Have the Republicans no shame? Sickening.

  • Johanna Lester

    Gauthier should resign or be removed for his behavior:

    His status and age creates a power differential between him and the17 year old boy. This makes his behavior abusive.

    Because it occurred in a public setting at a rest stop, he showed blatant disregard for the rights of others at the rest stop. He should have been sited for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. Anyone else would probably have been thrown in jail.

    Gautier is a state legislator, not just an average citizen. He should be a model citizen. He is a representative of the citizens of Duluth. If he wants to engage in sex with someone, he should do it in privacy. The legislature also needs some consistent rules for the behavior of its members.

    Laws regarding juveniles need some reflection and change. Parents are responsible for the child until age 18, yet the child is considered old enough at 16 to consent to activities which put the child at considerable risk. This puts the parents at great disadvantage in trying to be a responsible and protective parents. Imagine the heartbreak if this happened to your son. Where is the concern for the welfare of this child? Gauthier is no less than a predator.

  • Bob

    Alright John, I will call you crazy. Koch had an affair with an adult and she resigned her leadership position in the Senate. I’m saying you can’t compare child predators with people who are unfaithful to their spouse. There is a big difference in my mind. It is a horrible thing that he did and he should be punished. If you want to throw out all congress folks that have affairs I guess I would be ok with that. Would make room for a lot of people. But his actions are unthinkable. Period.