Crow Wing County Commissioner Terry Sluss withdrew his unfair campaign practices allegation against his former District 3 opponent, Mary Koep, Saturday.
Sluss filed the complaint with the county attorney's office a day before elections after becoming aware of a Koep campaign brochure that he believed contained false information. He said he was not given any time to refute any of the information on the brochure before election day.
"Although I continue to believe that the statements contained within my complaint are accurate and could be presented to a grand jury upon investigation, I do not believe that the information contained in the brochure mailed by and on behalf of my opponent, Mary Koep, has resulted in irreparable harm to my campaign or to the citizens of Crow Wing County," Sluss wrote in his complaint withdrawal. "It is now time for the county to renew its interest in working together toward our common future and not looking backward with a bad taste in our mouths over a political campaign."
Koep continues to stand behind the information in her brochure, but is glad that the complaint was dropped.
"There was never a thing there," she said about the complaint. "I documented everything and can prove every statement. I am glad that we can move on now."
The brochures that were in question were distributed two weeks before the election. This set of brochures, which included 4,000 copies, were distributed by mail.
Koep said all the information she used for her brochures she received from county offices, the state department and from Cass County, where she compared Crow Wing County with Cass.
In the brochure, Sluss found several issues that, in his opinion, were false. One of the issues stated in the brochure was, "$188,000 was spent to buy railroad property to build another courthouse." Koep said she received this information from the county attorney.
Sluss said the county board purchased the railroad property as a future growth investment. There was no motion or discussion by the board relating to using the property for another courthouse.
Other issues that Sluss believed were misleading were on the Enhanced 911 project, a new facility in the Law Enforcement Center and management of the county's money and natural resources.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.