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Winnebago Co. supervisor pleads not guilty to being drunk and armed at meeting

By Mary Pieper, Mason City Globe Gazette


A member of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and carrying a firearm while under the influence.

Mike Stensrud, who police said showed up drunk and armed at a board of supervisors meeting the morning of May 21, is requesting a jury trial.

Stensrud, 63, of Lake Mills told the Globe Gazette on May 22 that he had been drinking the day of the meeting.

“When you screw up, you have to pay the consequences,” he said.

Stensrud said he went to treatment in January and had not had a drink until the morning of May 21.

Stensrud, who had a 10-year career in the NFL from 1979-89 after attending Iowa State University, has served on the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors since January 2009.

He has said several times in the past that he doesn’t plan to run for re-election in 2020.

At 10:16 a.m. May 21, shortly after the board of supervisors meeting adjourned, an officer was called to the courthouse for a male who was possibly intoxicated, according to the Forest City Police Department.

The officer spoke to Stensrud in the board of supervisors room and detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him, according to a criminal complaint.

He asked Stensrud to provide a breath sample and he agreed, the complaint states.

The sample determined Stensrud’s blood alcohol level was .09, according to the complaint. By law, if a person has a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, that person is legally intoxicated.

The police officer asked Stensrud if a cup with a straw in it was his and he said it was, the complaint states. He then asked Stensrud if he could see inside the cup and the supervisor gave permission. The cup smelled of an alcoholic beverage, according to the complaint.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., Stensrud agreed to give another breath test and the result was .097, the complaint states.

Stensrud was asked if he was armed and he said he was, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the police officer said he took a Smith and Wesson MP 9 Shield pistol out of Stensrud’s right front pocket.

The Winnebago County Courthouse does not have a building-wide weapons ban, although the Second Judicial District banned guns in courtrooms, jury rooms and other judicial spaces in county courthouses in 2016.

All Winnebago County Board of Supervisors meetings are live-streamed on YouTube and recorded.

The recording from the meeting shows Stensrud drinking from a large plastic cup with a straw in it.

The video ended shortly after the meeting adjourned, but before police entered the board of supervisors room.

See what happened last night in the PM report here.