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Cottage Grove mayoral challenger Magle 'not proud' of '03, '04 domestic assault convictions

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Cottage Grove mayoral challenger Magle 'not proud' of '03, '04 domestic assault convictions
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

A challenger for Cottage Grove mayor twice convicted of domestic assault said he is "very ashamed" of that past but voters should not judge him based on those criminal convictions.


Mayoral candidate Chad Magle pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in 2003 and again in 2004. The victim in both assaults was his girlfriend at the time; they are now married. Cottage Grove police responded to the calls. He blamed his actions on being heavily medicated for back surgery and "poor decision-making on my part."

"Everybody's got something in their past that they're not proud of," Magle said in an interview. "I'm actually very ashamed of it, but I also did recover from that."

Magle is one of four people whose names will be on the ballot for mayor Nov. 6. The others are Chad Rediske, Lezlie Schriver and Myron Bailey, the incumbent.

Schriver is not actively campaigning, but she remains a candidate. She pleaded guilty to gross-misdemeanor obstructing the legal process with force in 2008 after she refused to comply with a Cottage Grove officer investigating a reported domestic dispute at her home. Schriver did not return a call seeking comment.

The Bulletin conducted the same court records search on all four mayoral candidates. There were no cases against Bailey or Rediske.

A criminal conviction does not prohibit someone from filing for office.

Magle, 40, said he expected that his criminal record would become known during the campaign but voters need to look beyond those incidents of eight and nine years ago. He has changed since then, he said.

"Of course I understood it was going to come out, and anybody that knows me today would tell you I'm a stand-up person, a stand-up husband, a stand-up father," Magle said.

Two incidents

Magle and his wife live in the River Acres neighborhood. He said he does not dispute what his wife told police about the assaults.

Police and court records obtained by the Bulletin show that authorities were called to Magle's home shortly before 3 a.m. Dec. 7, 2003, for a physical domestic. The victim told officers that she and Magle got into a verbal fight. She said the altercation turned physical and that Magle kicked and hit her before ripping a phone out of the wall as she tried to call 911.

Magle left the home before police arrived, but they found him in a nearby property. Magle resisted an officer's initial attempt to apprehend him, so a police dog bit him and an officer used a stun gun. "I give up," Magle said, according to the report. He apologized to police and said they were just doing their jobs.

Magle later told police he resisted arrest because he believed they might kill him "and end his misery," according to the report. He said he had taken three pain medications and had consumed 24 beers in about 12 hours.

Magle was jailed and charged with gross-misdemeanor interference with a 911 call, obstructing the legal process and fifth-degree domestic assault. He pleaded guilty to domestic assault and was ordered to serve probation. The other charges were dropped.

The second assault occurred about six months later.

Magle's girlfriend called police shortly after midnight June 12, 2004. She said she had climbed out of a bedroom window with their young son after Magle physically assaulted her. She walked two miles to the Renewal by Andersen facility, where she worked, and called 911.

The woman, a year older than Magle, told police that he had been drinking and made personal accusations about her. He pinned her down on a bed and hit her all over her head with his fist and then bit her nose. Police reported that her face was bruised and red and there were bite marks on her nose. She said their son, 2 years old at the time, was with her during the assault, according to the report. She kicked out a window and fled when Magle left the bedroom.

Police arrested Magle without incident at his home and he was charged with fifth-degree domestic assault. He pleaded guilty, was placed on one year of probation, paid a fine and was ordered to complete a chemical dependency evaluation.

'Time cures all wounds'

Magle said he regrets his actions.

"Like I said, I'm not proud of that fact in my past," he said, later adding: "I think time cures all wounds."

If elected, Magle said he would have no difficulty working with the Cottage Grove Police Department, whose officers had arrested him. He said they were "doing their job" and he respects the department.

Magle said he will talk openly about his past with anyone who wants to ask.

"What I want to say is don't judge a book by its cover," Magle said. "A past incident should not disqualify a person from trying to become a better person or a better citizen."

Other candidates said little about Magle's record.

"That should be for the voters to decide," Rediske said, "but I do believe that it may be something that (people) may be interested in knowing prior to voting for him."

Bailey said he didn't want to comment on the charges' relevancy, saying only: "That's something that's between him and his family."

Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
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