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Minnesota House DFL Votes To Expel Rep. John Thompson From Caucus

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota House DFL voted Tuesday night to expel embattled Rep. John Thompson from the caucus.

"Rep. Thompson's actions, credible reports of abuse and misconduct, and his failure to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives," DFL leadership wrote in a statement. "It would be best for Rep. Thompson, his family, and the institution for him to resign. In the absence of a resignation, the Minnesota House DFL has voted to remove Rep. Thompson from the caucus."

The vote means he will not be a part of DFL meetings or have party resources.

Thompson has said that he has no plans to resign from office, and he reiterated that in a lengthy statement Tuesday in which he also said he now holds a Minnesota driver's license.

On Wednesday, Thompson issued a statement saying that he will continue to serve his constituents as an Independent.

"The fact of the matter is there is still so much work to be done. It is time to turn the page and move forward with the work," he said. He added that he is looking forward to this new chapter in his life.

In July, Thompson was stopped in downtown St. Paul for driving without a front license plate, which is illegal in Minnesota. Thompson, who represents St. Paul's east side, presented the officer with a Wisconsin driver's license, which sparked questions concerning whether or not Thompson lives in the district he serves.

The July traffic stop set off a series of scandals for the lawmaker. He accused the officer who stopped him of racial profiling, sparking outcry from police, who said the stop was by the books. Thompson later apologized.

Not long after, police reports from years earlier emerged, detailing alleged domestic abuse. While Thompson was never convicted of any abuse charges, the allegations prompted calls of his registration from both Republicans and Democrats, including Gov. Tim Walz.

In his Tuesday morning statement, Thompson admitted he's made some mistakes in the past, but said nothing he's done disqualifies him from serving as a lawmaker now.

Thompson became an outspoken activist for police reform following the fatal police shooting of his friend Philando Castile in 2016. Prior to his election, Thompson was a prominent voice at protests and sometimes controversial.

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