I keep a close watch on the news in Mankato, Minn. — the town where I went to college. I served as editor of the school newspaper for two years, where I picked up the habit of caring deeply about local affairs. The trouble is I never stopped caring. Mankato is a pleasant little town and I want to see it do well.
John Brady (pictured right) is the mayor of Mankato. For now. On Saturday, Brady was scheduled to fly to China with representatives from Minnesota State University, Mankato to promote an aviation partnership at the school. Apparently Brady missed his flight and havoc ensued. From WCCO-TV:
“Mankato Mayor John Brady could face multiple charges after police say he was driving under the influence, involved in a hit-and-run accident and failed to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Golden Valley Police were alerted about the hit-and-run accident shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday in Minneapolis, near Interstate 394 and Highway 100. An officer attempted to pull over the suspect vehicle, but Brady, 61, did not stop and instead, exited at Hopkins Crossroad, according to police.
He was arrested for the alleged hit-and-run accident, third-degree DWI, an open bottle violation and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Brady was transported to the Golden Valley Police Department jail then taken to detox.
The Golden Valley city attorney will consider criminal charges.
Earlier that day, police say Brady had been involved in another property damage accident, around 6:53 a.m. near Highway 169 and County Road 41.
A State Patrol report says Brady was driving a Tan Toyota Camry and rear ended Jason Mejia and his 17-year-old son who were stopped at a red light in a Ford Focus. Both cars could not be driven after the accident.”
According to the same report, Brady pleaded guilty to a DWI in Blue Earth County in 1992.
This is particularly grating considering Brady presided over a city council that made sweeping changes to liquor sales in Mankato following the alcohol-related death of a student in 2007. City bars were forced to end all-you-can drink specials and all specials after 11 p.m. As a bartender, I saw firsthand how once-busy Wednesday and Thursday nights slowly became weeknights again after years of steady business. No doubt, the bars in Mankato have suffered the past few years as the job market’s grown more competitive, the cost of living has gone up and drink specials have been squelched. Plain and simple, college kids can’t afford to drink anymore. (College kids of legal drinking age, might I add.)
But Brady can. That’s our mayor, who just won the mayoral primary a few weeks back and looked prepared to win again in November. He’s in China until Monday, I believe, and while he’s released an apology, my hope is he resigns. He and the city council have set the expectation for total responsibility when it comes to alcohol, and that goes for college students, business-owners and the greater Mankato community. Shouldn’t it, too, go for local government? Among them, the mayor?
Mayor John Brady has embarrassed himself, his peers, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the town that elected him. It’s time he shows some humility, seeks personal help and steps away from the mayorship.
Mankato deserves better.