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Washington County Commissioner Pulkrabek pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

Bill Pulkrabek, the Washington County commissioner accused in a disorderly conduct case, was ordered to pay a fine and serve one year on probation Wednesday after the Woodbury man entered a plea in the criminal case.

The 42-year-old entered what's known as an Alford plea - where defendants do not plead guilty, but concede there is enough evidence to render a guilty verdict - for the misdemeanor offense.

In a statement he released Wednesday, Pulkrabek admitted to a "mistake" and apologized for what he called "an isolated incident."

"I take full responsibility for my lapse in judgment," the statement reads. "I offer my apology to everyone directly or indirectly involved in this misunderstanding. ... I look forward to a renewed focus on serving the people of Washington County."

Pulkrabek's attorney, Ryan Kaess, said his client maintains his innocence of the allegations "and firmly believes he would have been found not guilty of all charges."

However, in entering an Alford plea, Kaess said, Pulkrabek is acknowledging that if the alleged victim testified to the allegations in a jury trial, "and if the jury believed to what she testified to, that he would be found guilty."

In addition to the year on probation, Chisago County District Judge John McBride sentenced Pulkrabek to pay a $285 fine. A 30-day jail term was stayed as part of the sentence.

Conditions of Pulkrabek's probation call for him to attend anger management counseling and to pay any possible restitution in the case.

He was arrested May 30 at his Woodbury apartment where a woman reported her boyfriend - later identified as Pulkrabek - had assaulted her.

According to a police report, Pulkrabek threw the woman onto his bed by her hair and later pressed his forearm to her neck, restricting her ability to breathe.

Pulkrabek represents Washington County District 2, which includes Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Landfall and the northeast part of Woodbury.

Pulkrabek was first elected to the County Board in 1998. He was re-elected to a fourth term last fall by defeating Lake Elmo Mayor Dean Johnston. Prior to his election to county office, Pulkrabek served as Oakdale mayor from 1995 to 1998.

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.

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