Minn. senator’s tweet sparks ethics complaint

Published 2:41 pm Saturday, May 21, 2011

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota senator faces an ethics complaint for a remark she posted on Twitter about a colleague.

Republican Sen. Gretchen Hoffman of Vergas posted the comment during a Senate debate Wednesday night as Democratic Sen. Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights was talking about funding for mental health programs. Goodwin mentioned several now-discredited terms for mentally ill individuals.

Hoffman repeated Goodwin’s remarks on the social networking site in a way that suggested Goodwin had used the terms directly. A few minutes later, Goodwin rose again to angrily denounce Hoffman’s tweet and accused her of ignoring the original context. Hoffman refused to apologize.

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On Friday, Democratic Sen. Ann Rest filed an ethics complaint saying Hoffman knowingly published a false statement about Goodwin. Hoffman says she’s still offended by Goodwin’s remarks but would not comment further until the Senate Ethics Committee reviews the complaint.