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Meeting addresses allegations against Blaine councilmember Richard Paul

17 March 2022 Rob Doar
Meeting addresses allegations against Blaine councilmember Richard Paul

March 7 incident

The City Council was made aware during a meeting Monday, March 7, that Paul allegedly made controversial comments to Blaine resident Rob Doar that morning after Doar approached Paul about the Nov. 3 incident.

Doar filmed the incident, and the City Council reviewed the footage prior to the special meeting on March 10.

“I find the comments extremely troubling myself, and several of the statements made by Council Member Paul do not live up to the standards of conduct of a council member or represent the values of our city,” Sanders said.

According to Doar, he and Paul had a brief conversation at Paul’s home March 7 where Doar asked if Paul believes his position on the City Council entitles him to special treatment from police.

Doar recounted the incident on Facebook and at the March 7 City Council meeting.

According to Doar, Paul allegedly said of police that “I make your budget, and on top, you don’t give me respect?”

“Did you feel like because you approve their budget, you deserve more …” Doar responded.

“Respect,” Paul allegedly told Doar, interrupting him. “They started talking differently to me and yelling at me like I’m not a human being.”

“Difficult situation, but you felt like because you’re a council member they should have showed you more respect than the general public?” Doar allegedly asked.

“Yeah, something like that because I do help them,” Paul allegedly responded.

Doar then asked Paul if he’s planning on resigning. Paul allegedly told Doar that he was going to talk to Sanders and the rest of the City Council and “see what they say.”

Doar suggested to the City Council that Paul should release the body camera footage from the Nov. 3 incident if Paul believes the officers acted inappropriately. Under Minnesota statute, the Police Department cannot release the body camera footage without Paul’s consent, except under specific conditions that aren’t currently met, according to Chief Podany.

“All that being said, none of that addresses the issues here with the actions of Council Member Paul where he used his position of authority to threaten officers, threaten their livelihood and threaten their jobs … that’s inexcusable,” Doar said.

According to the Blaine Standards of Conduct, “No council member or member of any board or commission or covered city employee shall use such position to secure special privileges or exemptions for such person or others.”

Doar said that even if Paul is found guilty of the two misdemeanor charges against him Paul would still keep his City Council seat because only a felony could remove Paul from office, according to city charter.

“Citizens need to be able to have some sort of mechanism to hold our elected officials accountable, and we shouldn’t have to wait until election day to do that when there are things that rise to this level of abuse of their authority,” Doar said.

Source: Meeting addresses allegations against Blaine council member

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