Forest Lake Residents Call for Investigation into Council Member's Residency

September 26, 2017 11:06 PM

There is a growing call among Forest Lake residents to investigate one of its city council members.

Mike Freer is a two term city leader and is accused of living outside the city he was elected to serve.  If true, that would violate state residency rules. 


Residents first called for an investigation into Freer's residence after Monday night's Forest Lake City Council meeting.

Freer agreed to speak with KSTP on Tuesday evening, however, back out of the interview, citing advice from his attorney.

RELATED: At Forest Lake Meeting, Questions of Residency Aimed at Council Member

Freer has insisted on public documents, he lives within city limits on Fourth Avenue Southwest.  The property owner of the address, however, is Steve Stegner, a former mayor of Forest Lake. 

He said,  "Freer signed a lease and made a deposit." However, he hasn't spent a night in the home because it's uninhabitable.  It's been empty for three years because of significant water damage.

"Something stinks," City Councilwoman Mara Bain said Tuesday. "If there are concerns around significant legal issues where somebody lives, you don't wait for the right audience, you don't wait for the right opportunity. Those facts need to come out and those questions need to be asked."

It's up to the council to determine if there's a violation of residency rules and declare a vacancy on the panel if necessary. The council could discuss the issue at its next meeting.

This story was brought to KSTP's attention through a news tip. If you know of a story or issue that needs to be investigated, please leave a news tip here.



Beth McDonough

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