MNGOP endorsed Supreme Court candidate who faces DUI trial

Categories: Crime, Law, MNGOP
Michelle MacDonald
Two weeks ago, Michelle MacDonald, a family law attorney with three Twin Cities offices, won the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsement to run for the Supreme Court against incumbent Justice David Lillehaug.

Now she's in the news for very different reasons -- it just came to light she faces a criminal trial this fall stemming from an April 5, 2013 DUI arrest.

See also:
Andy Parrish apologizes for slapping MNGOP activist after allegedly calling him "cream puff"

According to a charging document we obtained from Dakota County, MacDonald was pulled over at 11:18 p.m. that night on Highway 3 in Rosemount because she was driving "38 and 39 miles per hour" in a 30-mile per hour zone.

As MacDonald sat by herself in her vehicle, "Officer Eckstein detected an alcoholic odor and noticed [MacDonald's] eyes were watery."

"Sergeant Burkhalter observed that [MacDonald] had slurred speech, she was not making sense in the conversation, her eyes were glossy, and he could detect an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle."

The officers asked MacDonald, 52, to perform field sobriety tests, but she allegedly refused and told officers she was going to walk home. She also told Officer Eckstein she's an attorney, but that didn't work any magic on the cops, who attempted to place her under arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

But MacDonald "refused to comply with commands to exit the vehicle by tensing up and grabbing onto the steering wheel."

"After removing [MacDonald] from the vehicle, Officer Eckstein read the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory to her," the complaint says. But MacDonald "refused to submit to a test of her breath."

MacDonald was ultimately charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, 4th degree DUI, obstructing the legal process, failure to produce proof of insurance, and speeding.

Though news about the charges was just broken publicly today by the Star Tribune -- even MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey says he didn't know about the situation until Strib reporter Abby Simons contacted him -- Simons, citing a conversation with MacDonald, reports that members of the MNGOP's Judicial Election Committee were aware of the charges, but weren't concerned about them.

(For more, click to page two.)

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