Johnston accused of stealing literature

Smith claims Lake Elmo mayor took her campaign information from door of home.

LAKE ELMO–City Councilwoman Anne Smith is accusing Mayor Dean Johnston of stealing her campaign literature after they ran into each other on the campaign trail Saturday.


Smith told Twin Cities media outlets that she saw Johnston attach his literature to a door handle, pull her literature out of the door, then walk to his scooter, lift the seat and put her material in his seat.

“But he didn’t leave the property with it because I told him to put it back and threatened to call the police,” Smith said.


Johnston and Smith are both seeking re-election in their respective races. Smith is one of four candidates seeking two seats on the city council. Johnston is running against two challengers for mayor.

When asked if she and Johnston had issues in the past, Smith said they had, noting that she was the lone dissenting vote on leaving the city Washington County Library system and opening its own library.

“I don’t know why he would take my literature over voting against the library,” she said. “I was hurt because we were friends in the past and you wouldn’t take someone’s literature if you were being respectful.”

Smith said she and the city administrator gave statements to the Washington County Sheriff’s office.

“I did not file charges, I called the sheriff and it’s in their jurisdiction now to do what they do when something like this happens,” Smith said.

She added that she did know that a detective had been assigned to the case and that they are investigating.

Johnston said in an email response to a phone call:

“I am expecting the law enforcement report later this week. I believe the outcome will be that the accusation is without merit — which is what I believe it should be. I will get back to you when I have the report. Hopefully it will be available for the Stillwater Gazette sponsored Candidate Forum in Lake Elmo Thursday.”