Washington County Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek was charged today with fifth-degree assault stemming from a May incident involving his girlfriend, the Woodbury city attorney confirmed.
The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office previously reviewed the case and decided not to pursue a felony charge.
Pulkrabek, who represents Oakdale and parts of Woodbury on the county board, was arrested May 30 after his girlfriend accused him of throwing her on a bed by her hair, holding his forearm over her neck so she couldn't breathe and pulling her down the stairs by her hair.
Alcohol was involved, according to a police report.
The incident happened at a home at the 10900 block of Oak Grove Circle in Woodbury. Pulkrabek and his wife, Lori Pulkrabek, have been separated for six months, she has said.
In a written statement, Pulkrabek's attorney Ryan Kaess said they “strongly disagree with the decision of the Woodbury City Attorney."
“Commissioner Pulkrabek has maintained his innocence throughout this process and will continue do so, we look forward to aggressively clearing his good name of these outrageous accusations in Court,” Kaess said. “We expect that when all the evidence is presented and this matter is fully tried that Commissioner Pulkrabek will be found not guilty.”
There is no upcoming court date set, Woodbury City Attorney Mark Vierling said. Judge John McBride will hear the case, Vierling said.
In previous statements, Pulkrabek's attorney has said the allegations are without merit.
"We hope and expect that people will refrain from making any judgments until they have had the chance to see all the facts," Kaess said. "Mr. Pulkrabek regrets that this matter has created a distraction from other important issues related to Washington County and he will continue to serve as a member of the county’s board of commissioners."
Earlier this month, the investigated the May 30 incident further and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said there was insufficient evidence to bring a felony charge.
"We know what it takes to prove a case like this beyond a reasonable doubt and we do not believe this case met the felony threshold," Choi told Patch.
Pulkrabek, 41, was first elected in to the board 1998 and is in his fourth term.