One of the two Republican lawmakers ticketed last month for allegedly “making out” in a Dakota County park said Thursday that she’s focusing on her job and trying to move on.
Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley, attended a meeting of the Legislative Health Care Workforce Commission, which she co-chairs. It was her first public appearance since the incident that also involved Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing.
Mack paid the fine but hasn’t given her own account of the incident. She told reporters after the meeting that she still disputes details of the park ranger’s report but declined to elaborate.
‘I’m going to focus on moving forward,” Mack said. “I have apologized to law enforcement. I’ve paid the citation, and I am focused on moving forward. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for my family, and the best thing for us, the best thing for my job, the best thing for the state of Minnesota is to move forward.”
House Democrats still aren’t satisfied with Mack’s or Kelly’s apologies, which they want directed to the park ranger. Mack said she thinks her apology to all law enforcement officers was adequate.
Mack said she has not yet decided whether to run for re-election in 2016.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the incident involving Mack and Kelly “was unfortunate,” but Daudt he thinks the apologies they made last week were appropriate.
“I actually thought it was very sincere and heartfelt, and I appreciate the fact they did that,” Daudt said. “Obviously, I think the Democrats have an interest in keeping the story alive and will probably continue to do that.”
Mack and Kelly voluntarily stepped down as members of the House Ethics Committee last week.
Mack is chair of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee and Kelly chairs the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee. Asked if either of those chair assignments are in jeopardy, Daudt responded “no, not at this point.”