Kirsten Hagen Kennedy won the hotly contested race for mayor of North Branch last November, despite the piece of anonymous attack mail city residents found in their mail boxes just before Election Day.
Now the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings has ruled that the case can go forward. The Chisago County Press reports in North Branch mayoral campaign complaint accepted by state officials:
State officials charged with reviewing campaign law violations have accepted North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy’s complaint.
Any information related to the complaint must be submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings panel by February 17. The administrative law judges will have 14 days to resolve this with a number of options.
Mayor Kennedy was the subject of a postcard distributed only days before the election in November 2014. The printed information smeared her experience and character and it lacked the legally required disclaimer, as to who or what group originated the brochure and is responsible for its content.
Kennedy supporters investigated the materials and concluded that Charles Duncan would be named in the complaint as respondent. . . .
The judges may, after seeing all the evidence, dismiss the complaint, issue a reprimand, impose a civil fine of up to $5,000 or the administrative panel may refer the matter to the county attorney.
Mayor Kennedy filed a preliminary statement with the OAH in early January. The complaint could have been rejected as frivolous and the mayor assessed any state costs.
Here's the determination of a prima facie violation that was reviewed in the February 3 teleconference (the next order of the OAH has not yet been posted):
Photo: Despite being smeared as a dirty hippie liberal and deadbeat by postcard lacking proper disclosure, Kirsten Hagen Kennedy won the North Branch mayor's race and was duly sworn in. Via Facebook.
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