Convicted felon campaigning for Ward 13 City Council seat

A convicted felon is running for City Council in Ward 13.

Robert Richard Reuer, 58, was convicted of felony charges in Hennepin County that include receiving stolen goods in 1990 and 1997, as well as third-degree assault in 1982.

When reached for comment Thursday, Reuer said he’s turned his life around 180 degrees.

“If I could turn my life and do 180, I should be able to do something down there [at the city],” he said.

Reuer, a Lynnhurst resident, was involved in a series of truck thefts, according to Hennepin County District Court documents related to 1997 charges of receiving stolen goods. Reuer told a Minnesota State Patrol special agent that he and an accomplice stole Ford pickup trucks and brought them to his business in St. Louis Park, where they removed the engines and transmissions for use in other vehicles, according to court documents.

Additional convictions include a 1990 vehicle theft charge in Dakota County and a 1998 motor vehicle theft in Ramsey County. Reuer pled guilty for all the aforementioned offenses.

In Minneapolis, convicted felons can run for public office under the same criteria that make someone eligible to vote — all points of a sentence must be complete and discharged.

Reuer’s felony cases are closed. He said he’s working with an attorney to expunge his criminal record.

“I’ll admit I drank too much in my younger days … I made stupid choices,” he said. “You’ve got to look at the whole picture.”

Reuer said he is now married and has a daughter, and according to his website, he runs a sewer and drain contracting business. He said city spending is one of the issues that motivated him to run for council — heavy investments in Nicollet Mall and city-owned parking ramps don’t pay off, he said.

“When you drive down the city streets, they’re a joke,” he said. “Why not spend money on us?”

Reuer said he didn’t think his record would become an issue on the campaign trail.

“I didn’t think it was important after all these years,” he said. “I thought it was over.”

Ward 13 includes southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods. It is currently represented by Betsy Hodges, who is running for mayor. Other people in the race for the Ward 13 seat include DFL-endorsed candidate Linea Palmisano, Matt Perry, David Regan and Missy Durant.