ST. PAUL – State Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, filed a formal ethics complaint with the Minnesota House late last month against Rep. John Thompson, D-St. Paul, on June 29 after Lucero said Thompson falsely and maliciously asserted on the House floor that Lucero is a racist.
Lucero’s complaint stems from an incident which occurred during a June 19 floor session as the House was discussing an omnibus package related to higher education amid a special session at the Capitol. Lucero was speaking about the importance of supporting law enforcement officers, particularly the spouses and children of public safety officers killed in the line of duty, during debate of an amendment.
The complaint filed by Lucero indicates “Without properly raising a point of order, Rep. Thompson interrupted Rep. Lucero three times with, ‘Are we speaking on the bill’, followed by ‘I have about had enough of this’, and a couple times more ‘Are we speaking on the bill’ and ‘Please, somebody say something. Are we speaking on the bill?’ Rep. Lucero requested the Speaker call Rep. Thompson out of order. Rep. Thompson, who was ruled out of order, continued to berate Rep. Lucero by yelling ‘Point of order’ twice over Zoom, following each interruption with ‘I know you’re a racist!’”
House video of the floor session corroborates the series of events Lucero outlines in his complaint (time stamp: 3:04:40-3:05:28). Five colleague House Republicans co-signed the complaint in support.
Lucero said Thompson’s “shockingly racist, bigoted and narrow-minded comments” are perplexing and even more concerning given his personal background — Lucero is a Hispanic minority, and is married to his wife of East Indian descent. Lucero said he “enjoys a richly diverse ethnic and religious culture within my very own family” with several other family members and in-laws who also hail from minority communities. His complaint concludes, in part:
“Rep. Thompson’s actions directed at a sitting Member on the floor of the House of Representatives bring absolute dishonor and disrepute to this body. Rep. Thompson’s comments were destructive to the integrity of the body and its adopted code of conduct. They further, and most importantly, served to impugn Rep. Lucero’s character. Such direct attempts by one Member to bully and intimidate another on the House floor cannot be tolerated; such undermining of the rules of legislative process must not stand. May this letter serve as a formal complaint under House Rule 6.10.”
Lucero is in his fourth term in office since 2015 while Thompson is in his first term in office only a few months after winning his first election in November of 2020. In August of that year, video surfaced of Thompson making inflammatory comments in a residential area of Hugo. Reports indicate he “threatened to burn down Hugo” and was “berating children who were present.”
The full content of Lucero’s complaint can be found here. Last week, pursuant to House Rules, Speaker Hortman referred the complaint to the House Ethics Committee, where it awaits further action.