Scott County: No Charges of Attempted Bribery for St. Paul Mayoral Candidate

City Council Member Dai Thao Photo: City of St. Paul
City Council Member Dai Thao

September 13, 2017 02:17 PM

Prosecutors in Scott County have decided not to pursue charges against St. Paul mayoral candidate and City Council Member Dai Thao, whose campaign had been accused of attempting to solicit a bribe.

The Scott County Attorney’s Office issued a release Tuesday announcing the decision, saying there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted in investigating the case, which was sent to Scott County for review of potential charges because Ramsey County presented a conflict of interest. 


Thao and his campaign manager had been accused of attempting to solicit a bribe from a lobbyist with whom he met in February about a potential ban on certain plastic bag materials. 

RELATED: St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao Announces Mayoral Bid

Media reports after the meeting indicated Thao had requested “resources” from the lobbyist, and that his campaign manager at the time, Angela Marlow, who has since been fired, had followed up with the lobbyist via text message hours after the meeting to request a donation to the campaign.

The attorney’s office said those present at the February meeting reported Thao’s vote on the materials ban had not been discussed, nor had he expressed an opinion about it. The release from the attorney’s office did not mention whether those present at the meeting recalled Thao requesting “resources.”

Marlow was not present at the meeting, according to the release, signed by Deputy Scott County Attorney Neil G. Nelson. It continued: “Later, when she asked the lobbyist whether the lobbyist’s clients would make a donation to Council Member Thao’s mayoral campaign, the campaign manager had no frame of reference as to the meeting or its outcome.

“The mere request for a campaign donation, without some evidence of a proposed quid pro quo, is not illegal.”


Michael Oakes

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