by April Scheinoha
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an altercation allegedly occurred Tuesday evening during a Thief River Falls city committee meeting.
The Northern Watch has learned that a physical altercation occurred between Council Members Jerald Brown and Josh Hagen. Brown told the Northern Watch that legal counsel advised him not to comment since the matter is under investigation. Hagen’s city email address is listed as his contact information on the city website. The
Northern Watch sent him an email at that address, but it bounced back. The city office indicated that Hagen’s city email address is the only contact it has for Hagen. Brown represents Ward 4, and Hagen represents Ward 3.
Sheriff Ray Kuznia said his office received a complaint from Mayor Brian Holmer between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday. Kuznia said Holmer had asked the office to investigate the altercation. He added that his office is investigating the matter and he declined to provide specifics about the investigation. Kuznia believed that the investigation would wrap up Thursday and then the information would be forwarded to the County Attorney’s Office.
The Administrative Services Committee met Tuesday evening at City Hall. Holmer doesn’t serve on that committee. Since he wasn’t in attendance at the meeting, he declined to provide information about the alleged incident. However, he said attendees included Brown, who chairs the committee; Hagen; Council Member Curt Howe; Council Member Jason Aarestad; City Administrator Rod Otterness, Finance Director Angie Philipp and Arena Manager Missy Sletten.
The committee met Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. It oversees such things as the arena, the municipal liquor store and Administrative Services Department. It is believed that the committee was planning to discuss a proposed Thief River Falls splash park. At a council meeting three weeks earlier, Hagen had suggested that the city should use money from the city’s Swimming Pool Fund to build a splash park. That suggestion had been forwarded to the Administrative Services Committee as well as the Public Works Committee.