Northfield mayor rejects call to step downby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
The mayor of Northfield refused to step down Saturday after the city council passed a resolution calling on him to resign.
Northfield, Minn. — Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing is vowing that he won't resign in the face of allegations that he used the power of his office improperly.
An outside investigator hired by the council found that Lansing lobbied for the city to move its municipal liquor store to property owned by his son, David.
Lansing told a city council meeting Saturday that he was sorry for what he did but that his actions were not intentional. He asked councilmembers and the city of Northfield for forgiveness.
"I never intended to abuse the power of my office in any way," he said. "The investigator has concluded that I did abuse the power of my office. Whether I agree or not makes little difference and to defend or answer those findings today is not in order."
Councilmembers were not satisfied and voted to approve a resolution calling for the mayor to step down immediately.
Councilmember Noah Cashman said the allegations are serious.
"This is not a parking ticket," he said. "This is not some rinky-dink ethics violation. This is a very substantial violation."
Under the law, the city council can't force the mayor to resign. The case now goes to the Rice County attorney, who will look into whether Lansing's actions violated state or city law.