TV Meteorologist Turned Democratic State Senator Is Arrested for Burglarizing Her Stepmother’s Home, ‘Dressed in All Black Clothing’

Nicole Mitchell, who was a rising star in the Minnesota state senate, is now facing calls to resign.

Becker County Jail / Facebook
Minnesota State Senator Nicole Mitchell, seen in her booking photo (L) and during happier times (R) has been arrested for burglarizing what's believed to be her stepmother and late father's home. Becker County Jail / Facebook

Minnesota State Sen. Nicole Mitchell, 49, holds a position that necessitates a respect for the law. But a recent arrest might have voters questioning her morals during her first term.

Ms. Mitchell is a member of the The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party who represents Minnesota State Senate District 47. The DFL Party, which was created in 1994 when the Minnesota Democrats merged with the Farmer-Labor Party, is an affiliate of the Democratic Party. 

The Minnesota mother, veteran and former TV meteorologist has held office since 2022 and has stayed busy during her first term. She even became “the first legislator in Minnesota history to author and pass a major budget bill in their first year of service” after the passage of the Veterans & Military Affairs Budget. But everything she has worked for is currently in jeopardy after she was formerly charged with one count of burglary on Tuesday.

Officers were called to the scene of the alleged crime around 4:45 a.m. on Monday by the homeowner who reported a burglary in progress in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, near the North Dakota border. When they arrived at the home, believed to be that of Ms. Mitchell’s stepmother and her late father, they found and arrested Ms. Mitchell. She was reportedly dressed in all black clothing and a black hat, and reportedly said she “was just trying to get a couple of [her] dad’s things” – namely, some pictures, her father’s flannel shirt, his ashes and other sentimental items. Further investigation showed that Ms. Mitchell had entered the home through a window in the basement.

Nicole Mitchell was a TV meteorologist prior to winning election to a seat in Minnesota’s state senate. The Weather Channel

Interestingly enough, police say Ms. Mitchell told them she “[knew] [she] did something bad” and was only there because her stepmother had stopped communicating with her and other family members after her father’s recent death.

Once news had spread, Sen. Mitchell took the time to share her side of the story via Facebook:

“Regarding the recent news: Like so many families, mine is dealing with the pain of watching a loved one decline due to Alzheimer’s and associated paranoia,” she wrote on Tuesday. “Over the weekend, I learned of medical information which caused me grave concern and prompted me to check on that family member. I entered a home I have come and gone from countless times in the past 20 years, where my son even once had his own room. 

In addition to her service in the Air National Guard, Ms. Mitchell was also a TV meteorologist. Facebook

“Unfortunately, I startled this close relative, exacerbating paranoia, and I was accused of stealing, which I absolutely deny. Thank you to all my friends (and colleagues of both parties) for the kind words of support and for trusting my character even before I had a chance to respond. 

This has been a true tragedy for our family and my hope is it can return to being a private matter.”

In response to her post, some people have shown empathy for Ms. Mitchell.

“Senator Mitchell, many other Republicans would unfortunately be quick to attack you without knowing all the details. I won’t do that,” Facebook user Jeff Burleson wrote in a comment on her Facebook post. “I knew there must be more to the story and appreciate your explanation. I’m hopeful your counsel will persuade the DDA to drop the charges as this sounds like a misunderstanding. Next time you would be better advised to check on your family member during daylight hours. Good luck.”

Ms. Mitchell had earned plaudits for her hard work and diligence during her first term as a Minnesota state senator. Facebook

Others, however, have been far less sympathetic.

“You cannot be serious!?! This is your explanation?!? Wow, seek help,” JD Ruehling commented on Ms. Mitchell’s post.

“If you have any honor at all you would step down from office,” another commenter, Patrick I. Dennis, chimed in.

Some influential politicians have also begun sharing their takes on the events. 

Ms. Mitchell was a proud commander in the Air National Guard. Facebook

“The allegations against Senator Mitchell are upsetting, for me and for anyone who has gotten to know and work with her,” Senate Majority Leader Eric Murphy said in a statement Tuesday morning. “The behavior alleged is far outside the character she has established in the Senate and in her distinguished career in the military. We believe in due process, and Senator Mitchell has the right to a full defense of her case in court. In the coming days and weeks, Senator Mitchell must also have serious and difficult conversations with her colleagues, constituents and family.”

Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, also shared his thoughts on Ms. Mitchell’s arrest, saying he was “shocked” to hear of the news.

“The public expects Legislators to meet a high standard of conduct,” Mr. Johnson shared in a statement with CBS News. “As information comes out, we expect the consequences to meet the actions, both in the court of law, and in her role at the legislature.”

In a Monday court session, a judge ordered Ms. Mitchell to post bond at $40,000, avoid contact with the victim, and remain in Minnesota unless she’s granted written court approval with the exception of travel to Cass County, North Dakota.

The New York Sun

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