At least one Thief River Falls City Official, maybe more, were injured in what has been described as an all out brawl that broke out during a Council Committee Meeting Tuesday night.
City Officials and Law Enforcement have been very tight lipped about the altercation, which erupted during a meeting of the Administrative Services/Arenas Committee Tuesday in Committee Room 102 at City Hall, The Historic Soo Line Depot.
Things got heated originally over an ongoing discussion that concerned a long vetted City Outdoor Swimming Pool and the new concept of a Community Splash Park; that erupted into a verbal altercation that cooled before erupting once again over arena issues. There was an exchange of words that became physical, the initial altercation between Committee Chair Jerald Brown and Ward #3 Councilman Josh Hagen; ultimately drawing in Councilman Curt Howe and City Administrator Rodney Otterness.
Also present; Arenas Manager Missy Sletten, City Finance Director Angie Philipp and a 4th committee member; Alderman Jason Aarstad.
Laura Stengrem, Executive Director of Visit Thief River Falls had been at the meeting earlier in the evening but left before the fight broke-out.
Wednesday, Mayor Brian Holmer confirmed the altercation but said little more; referring questions to Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia who is handling the investigation.
Assistant Pennington County Attorney, Kristin Hanson, said Tuesday she was aware of the situation, awaiting the results of the Sheriff’s Department Report.
As far as the incident, City Attorney Nathan Haase says the city is in new territory, something that has never happened before; unsure how to proceed until the results of the criminal investigation are complete.
Haase did say there was no city policy regarding reprimand or censure when it comes to the conduct of City Councilmen.