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home : community : community Monday, November 20, 2017

10/3/2017 2:31:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Dai Thao's Campaign Cleared Of Bribery Allegations

By Amy Doeun

On Tuesday, September 12th, MPR, Star Tribune and Pioneer Press all reported that the Scott County Attorney's office had decided not to file criminal charges against Dai Thao who is running for Mayor of St. Paul.

The allegations of bribery began last spring when Sarah Clarke, a lobbyist, said that Thao's Campaign manager, Angela Marlow, asked for campaign contributions - what Clarke called a bribe. After reporting the allegations to St. Paul police the police department asked the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate the allegations. The investigation was handled by the Scott County Attorney's Office because Marlow worked for Ramsey County at the time. The Scott County Attorney's Office announced through a letter to the Attorney's Office of the BCA on September 12th, "The mere request for a campaign donation, without some evidence of a proposed quid pro quo, is not illegal," reported the Pioneer Press.

The Pioneer Press went on to quote Thao, "Our campaign has remained strong because we believe in making St. Paul better for everyone. I've faced down bullies before - from the refugee camps to City Hall, and I will not back down until the people of St. Paul receive what they deserve in order to have a joyful and prosperous life."

The Star Tribune reported: "After analyzing the facts and applicable law, we believe there is insufficient information on which to prosecute," Neil Nelson, the county's chief deputy attorney, wrote in a letter to a special agent of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The lobbyist was from Dart Container Corp. Dart did not make a contribution to the campaign.

Thao released a video through Facebook after the announcement in which he says, "All along I've maintained in the strongest terms, since the very beginning, that these accusations were false and likely politically motivated by those who oppose our efforts to give all St. Paulites a voice and a seat at the table."

TakeAction Minnesota, an advocacy organization that endorsed Thao, issued a statement Tuesday reiterating their support. "In all the years we've known him, he's been in politics for the people. We are proud to endorse him. And we're proud to keep fighting with him to win this race and make St. Paul a great place for all people," said Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota reported the Star Tribune.

MPR reported, "Thao's campaign manager, Angela Marlow, expressed relief at the news. 'It feels good to have everybody know what I've kind of known all along,' Marlow said. 'I have been a little bit confused about some of the events that happened and the way some of it played out. All the facts didn't seem to come out.'"

Thao's supporters continue to stand by him. "He is in third place when it comes to raising campaign cash for the St. Paul Mayor's race. Dai Thao may be in third place, but he's in second place in another important area: remaining account balances," reported the Pioneer Press. "The Thao campaign reported raising more than $171,000 to date, with $97,000 cash on hand."

Dai Thao addressed friends and supporters through Facebook saying,

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for being there for me, my family, and the campaign team. I appreciate you with every ounce of love in my heart.

As you may know by now we are officially cleared by Scott County and the BCA. I want to thank them for doing a thorough investigation to clear my name and our campaign for the regular people.

We knew all along this was a coordinated political attack by a paid lobbyist and those who do not wish to have regular people at the table.

My message to them is I forgive them. In life we have to learn how to forgive even those who wish us harm. We have to forgive them and keep our eyes on the prize of creating a better more equitable world for our children and their children.

I will never stop fighting for the people of St. Paul, especially the regular people. We are moving forward with love in our hearts and urgency in our action to win in November. Join the campaign at www.daithao.org, be part of the movement that make St. Paul work for all the people.




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