Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gauthier is Gone

Good thing, too, because the guy had had a few, ahem, issues::
A Duluth legislator who admitted to police that he had oral sex with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop has bowed to relentless pressure from DFL leaders and will not seek a second term.

"I am done," state Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, told the Star Tribune late Wednesday. "I just need to take care of myself right now, and I am not really up for that kind of fight."

Gauthier infuriated DFL colleagues earlier in the day when they learned he intended to seek re-election. They had spent days urging Gauthier to bow out of the race in a district that is a longtime DFL stronghold.
Infuriated colleagues are problematic, but that appeared to be the least of his problems:
As authorities made the report public, Gauthier said he took several muscle relaxants and was taken to a local hospital after being found unconscious.

Gauthier said he has been recovering from chemical addiction for 30 years. He said he relapsed about a year ago and briefly started drinking again. Gauthier said he'd remained sober until last week, when he overdosed on pain pills prescribed for back pain.
"I reverted back to the bad habits of last year," he said.

Any similarity to the political career of other high-ranking Minnesota officials is strictly coincidental and must not be mentioned, of course. And there's this little tidbit:
Before joining the Legislature, Gauthier was a licensed social worker and alcohol and drug counselor. A background check turned up no previous criminal record.
On the bright side, he still has no criminal record.

One other point -- on the local news, I heard it mentioned that there are concerns about Gauthier coming back to St. Paul tomorrow for the planned special session on flood relief for the Duluth area. Given the timing, he's going to have to come back, because a resignation would not allow the seat to be filled in time.


Bike Bubba said...

It boggles the mind that he wasn't arrested, at a minimum, for public indecency.

Brian said...

It's rather hard to pursue a public indecency charge if no one observes you being indecent in public. It's not clear to me from the ST article than anyone did.

Bike Bubba said...

Brian, here's a fuller story:

Police were summoned by witnesses, and the guy admitted to the act near picnic tables. Now apart from actual photographic evidence (ugh), what more do you need for a charge if public lewdness/indecent exposure?

Brian said...

I still don't see where anyone observed the act in question taking place. "Suspicious activity" is rather vague.

I'm not defending the guy, or sex in public generally. I just don't think it's exactly an outrage for a DA to decline to pursue charges that aren't likely to hold up in court. And public indecency is the only (potential) crime, here, as the age of consent in MN is 16.

K-Rod said...

Brian, Stop defending him. He committed a crime.