Charge: Chisholm city councilor groped woman in bar
HIBBING -- The city councilor accused of a groping a woman in a downtown Chisholm bar in early September has been formally charged. Kevin R. Scaia, 50, of Chisholm, appeared before Judge Mark M. Starr Monday morning in Sixth District Court in Hib...
HIBBING - The city councilor accused of a groping a woman in a downtown Chisholm bar in early September has been formally charged.
Kevin R. Scaia, 50, of Chisholm, appeared before Judge Mark M. Starr Monday morning in Sixth District Court in Hibbing. He's been charged with one gross misdemeanor count of fifth degree criminal sexual conduct.
A summons was filed earlier this month. The alleged non-consensual sexual contact was caught on camera.
Scaia, who was released on interim supervised release, told the court he will hire an attorney.
His next court appearance is set for 10 a.m. Nov. 6.
According to the complaint:
Scaia approached two females sitting at the T&T Dome Bar on Lake Street in Chisholm around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. The two women were sitting next to each other.
Scaia then stood directly behind one of the females and proceeded to reach both of his hands around her, squeezing both of her breasts. The female used her hands to get Scaia's hands off of her.
The female told Scaia to "knock it off." He then stated "oh come on" and used her name, the complaint said.
When interviewed by law enforcement, Scaia at first denied any sexual contact. He then changed his story, stating that "he may have hugged the victim face to face."
Scaia was made aware of video surveillance from inside the bar, at which point he stated he "didn't mean anything by it" adding that "it was just something I did."
Scaia described himself as "a political target" and that he "believes somebody within the city is behind the allegation," the complaint said.
Elected into office in November 2014, Scaia is a first-term city councilor. He has not attended any city council meetings nor a recent RAMS meeting since news of the pending charges made headlines. He has also not responded to any media inquiries.
Last week Scaia's fellow councilors voted 4-0 to request his resignation. Mayor Todd Scaia, Kevin's brother, abstained from the vote.
Reasons behind calling for his resignation include: the matter has been time consuming and distracting for city staff, and that Scaia's continued participation on the council would be a continued distraction, detrimental to the council's ability to perform its functions and would "cast a cloud" on the perceived collective judgment of the council. The allegations also directly violate the expectations of the council and those the voters have for elected officials.
At least two members of the public also called for Scaia's resignation during the meeting.
A process whereby citizens, or the electorate, can request the recall of elected officers is detailed in the city charter.