Union managers arrested after fight with Superior city councilors
A construction manager and carpenters union business manager who addressed the Superior City Council last year were arrested early Wednesday morning after a report of a fight with two city councilors outside Jimmy’s Saloon in Billings Park.
According to Superior police reports, the business manager was arrested for battery, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct after he allegedly shoved Councilor Craig Sutherland through a railing that broke, and punched Council President Keith Kern in the face. The construction manager was arrested for disorderly conduct.
“It’s in the district attorney’s hands,” Sutherland said Wednesday. “Things like this can’t happen.”
Sutherland and Kern declined further comment on the incident.
Charges are under review, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the police reports, Kern told officers the men had been causing a disturbance, and were talking about unions and badgering patrons who work in nonunion construction jobs.
Kevin Kern, who was tending bar, told police the men had left the bar for about five minutes before they returned.
Sutherland told police he went outside after the men left and was trying to calm them down and encourage them to leave when the business manager shoved him through a rail, which broke.
Councilor Kern said he told them to leave again and started escorting them out when the business manager punched him in the face with a closed fist.
The men addressed the council in May 2017 to urge councilors to adopt a responsible bidders ordinance.
Union protests at the construction site for the new fire hall headquarters have been taking place since the council let bids for plumbing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning to KBK Systems of Ashland, which failed to meet the conditions of the bidders ordinance.
A $1,000 signature bond was ordered for the construction manager. He was ordered to make an initial appearance Tuesday. The business manager was released to make an initial appearance Monday.
The Superior Telegram and Duluth News Tribune generally do not name people accused of crimes until they have been charged.