Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Olson pleads not guilty

Briefly this morning, Mark Olson plead not guilty to the charge that he assaulted his wife.

Pre-trial hearing is set for January 19.

Rep Mark Olson pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he assaulted his wife during a domestic dispute Nov. 12. In a court appearance that lasted less than one minute, a pre-trial hearing was set for Jan. 19, and Olson left the courtoroom quickly refusing to comment.

Olson, 51, who was elected to his eigthth term in the House in November, was charged Nov. 14 with two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault. The incident arose following a verbal argument between Olson and his wife, Heidi, at their Big Lake home, according to the criminal charges against him.

Olson is accused of pushing his wife to the ground several times. He was arrested a short time after the incident at a Blaine private school. At his initial court appearance, Olson declined to enter a plea but acknowledged after he was released from jail that he needed to apologize to his wife, to his constituents and to God for his behavior.

Olson’s arrest sparked discussion about whether he should resign. Olson said at the time he was not considering the move but fellow Republicans in the House have since voted to remove him from their caucus and House Republican leadership has suggested he should resign if he is convicted.

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