Iron Range lawmaker faces restraining order
A woman who claims state Rep. Tom Anzelc stalked and harassed her has been granted a restraining order against the Itasca County DFLer. Anzelc said Tuesday the charges are politicially motivated. The restraining order, issued by St. Louis Distric...
A woman who claims state Rep. Tom Anzelc stalked and harassed her has been granted a restraining order against the Itasca County DFLer.
Anzelc said Tuesday the charges are politicially motivated.
The restraining order, issued by St. Louis District Court Judge Heather Sweetland on June 8, says Anzelc, 63, must not come within a two-block radius of the Duluth woman's home and must not have contact at any place the woman works. It has an expiration date of June 8, 2012.
Anzelc's lawyer, Joe Boyle of International Falls, said he will request a hearing by the end of the week to ask that the order be dismissed.
"Once those papers have been submitted to court, the court will set a date for a hearing, and we'll have our hearing, and it will be dismissed," Boyle said.
The News Tribune is not revealing the woman's name because there are allegations of sexual abuse in the restraining order, and the newspaper generally doesn't identify victims or alleged victims of sexual crimes.
Anzelc and Boyle deny all of the allegations.
Anzelc is seeking a third term representing District 3A, which includes parts of Itasca, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties. He lives in Balsam Township, a rural area in Itasca County.
In the restraining order, the ex-girlfriend alleges:
* During their relationship "physical, sexual and psychological abuse occurred."
* When they met at a gas station in Pike Lake in September 2009 to exchange personal items left over from their relationship, he had a gun out of its case in the front seat of his vehicle, and she felt it was displayed to threaten her.
* Since the end of their relationship in September 2009, he had been making harassing phone calls late at night or early in the morning and "he usually is drinking when this occurs."
* He stalked her at the DFL state convention in Duluth in April and at one point "approached me and put his arms around my shoulders. He pressed his body against me. He also came into my work that night uninvited."
When read the allegations in a telephone interview, Anzelc denied each.
About the charge of stalking at the convention, he said: "I was at the state convention with my woman friend, with my oldest daughter and with my sister and her husband from Duluth. No such thing occurred at that convention between this person and me."
Boyle said the workplace mentioned in the allegation was Rep. Tom Rukavina's hospitality room in the Radisson Hotel, and Anzelc was not "uninvited."
Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, and an ally of Anzelc's, was seeking his party's endorsement for governor. "Unquestionably, (Anzelc) was invited," Boyle said.
Rukavina confirmed that. "I would have been mad as hell if he didn't show up," he said.
Boyle said the relationship ended at the end of 2008, not in September 2009, and that Anzelc had a new girlfriend by January 2009.
Anzelc characterized the allegations as a vindictive act in the wake of a broken relationship.
"It was a personal friendship and political friendship which ended badly," he said. "She has decided to hurt me politically and personally during this election season."
Anzelc said he had been vetted by gubernatorial candidates as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor. He is opposed in the fall election by Republican Melvin Ott of Grand Rapids, who also ran against him two years ago. Neither Ott nor the woman who made the allegations returned calls.