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Michelle MacDonald arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in April 2013

Attorney endorsed to challenge Lillehaug has pending charges

West St. Paul attorney Michelle MacDonald was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and resisting arrest in April 2013. The Republican Party of Minnesota said it did not know about the incident when she was endorsed by the party to run for Minnesota Supreme Court at the party’s convention in Rochester.

MacDonald said she was not drinking the night she was pulled over and plans to take the case to trial. A Rosemount police report said she refused a field sobriety test and other tests that would have determined her blood-alcohol level. MacDonald is challenging incumbent Justice David Lillehaug, a recent Gov. Mark Dayton appointee, in this fall’s election.

Keith Downey, the state Republican Party chairman said the party and its delegates were not aware of MacDonald’s arrest at the convention. He told a reporter that “the party should have done things differently.” He declined to say if MacDonald’s endorsement would be withdrawn.

MacDonald said the party’s judicial election committee was aware of the case.

MacDonald was charged with third-degree test refusal, a gross misdemeanor, and fourth-degree DWI and resisting arrest — both misdemeanors. Her trial is scheduled for Sept. 15 in Dakota County.

MacDonald was introduced at the convention by attorney Greg Wersal, a three-time candidate for Supreme Court justice.

Last fall MacDonald was arrested while appearing in a Dakota County courtroom on a divorce case. She was charged with misdemeanor contempt of court and obstruction of justice. In that instance, she was accused of harassing courtroom staff and taking photos of people in the courtroom after being asked not to.

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