DFL senator accused of burglary: ‘I do not intend to resign’

Woodbury DFLer Nicole Mitchell was absent for both Senate floor sessions this week as a motion she filed to add an author to a veterans bill she is carrying failed on a bipartisan vote.

Sen. Nicole Mitchell, DFL-Woodbury, has yet to appear on the Senate floor since she was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary. (Minnesota Senate Media Services/YouTube)

Sen. Nicole Mitchell, DFL-Woodbury, has yet to appear on the Senate floor since she was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary in northwestern Minnesota earlier this week. But she’s been the center of attention in the little the Senate has accomplished since it returned from a Passover holiday break on Wednesday.

On Thursday afternoon, the first-term legislator — who represents District 47 (which includes most of Woodbury and a portion of southeastern Maplewood) — distributed a statement to media announcing she does not intend to resign from her seat.

That followed a Senate floor session where a bipartisan vote defeated Mitchell’s motion to add a co-author to an omnibus veterans policy bill she is carrying. On Wednesday, Republicans brought forth a motion to expedite a hearing on an ethics violation complaint related to Mitchell’s conduct surrounding the alleged burglary. That motion failed on a 33-33, with Democrats and Republicans split on party lines. Mitchell was the lone senator who did not vote. A Senate ethics committee is scheduled to take up the complaint against Mitchell at a May 7 hearing.

Mitchell was not present in person Thursday and chose not to participate remotely (as some senators are allowed to do under chamber rules), but nevertheless filed a motion to add Sen. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, as a co-author to SF4429, which includes several new policy provisions related to veterans affairs. Mitchell is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, and has signed onto a number of veterans-related bills during her first two sessions in the Senate.

Mitchell’s motion was defeated by a bipartisan 34-29 vote that included a “no” vote from Sen. Rob Kupec, DFL-Moorhead, who joined 33 Republicans.

Kupec’s Senate district includes the Detroit Lakes area, the site of the alleged burglary where police found Mitchell before dawn Monday morning after her stepmother called 911 to report an intruder had broken into her home.

Three DFL senators who were present on the floor did not vote on the motion: Grant Hauschild of Hermantown, Judy Seeberger of Afton, and Heather Gustafson of Vadnais Heights. All three of those senators represent swing districts up for re-election in 2026.

In her Thursday statement to the media, Mitchell continued to criticize the merits of the Becker County Attorney’s criminal complaint alleging she broke into her stepmother’s home and with intent to take items that didn’t belong to her.

“It saddens me that some people are attempting to use a tragic family situation to score political points,” Mitchell said. “I am confident that a much different picture will emerge when all the facts are known.”

“I am as committed to my constituents today as the day I was elected, including important work for veterans and children, and I do not intend to resign.”

The Senate adjourned until Monday. The legislative session ends on May 20.


Hank Long

Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.