The Beacon received a letter last week that we could not publish because of its content. That letter did contain one little nugget, though. It wondered why the newspaper hadn't reported that Babe O'Gorman was allegedly threatened outside of the November 7 city council meeting.
I confirmed with the Cannon Falls Police Department that O'Gorman two days later filed a police report claiming just that, that he was threatened by Jason Abadie. Abadie is the husband of council member Cedar Abadie.
O'Gorman spoke during the public input portion of the meeting. After he sat down, Abadie asked him if he would go outside to talk and O'Gorman agreed (Beacon reporter Ken Haggerty overhead this exchange).
The two spoke outside in front of the police department. According to a report taken and filed by Lt. Joe Berg of the CFPD, O'Gorman listed a number of things allegedly said by Abadie that he considered threatening, including "if you don't stop abusing my wife you're going to regret it," and "if you don't stop I'm going to do something about it." O'Gorman told me this week that Abadie kept screaming at him about what his (O'Gorman's) agenda was.
O'Gorman told Berg that he didn't want charges filed, but wanted Abadie talked to so it doesn't happen again. O'Gorman told me Monday that he did not file charges because he figured Jason Abadie was just frustrated, "like all of us."
Abadie denies saying most of the things O'Gorman alleged, and specifically that he never threatened O'Gorman or used the word "abuse." Abadie submitted a letter this week with more context, but his position is that O'Gorman has bullied his wife, among others, but never abused anyone, to Abadie's knowledge.
"I know I never got in Babe's face and I obviously never laid a hand on him, but more importantly, I never threatened him. I told him, man-to-man, that what he was doing wasn't acceptable. That's all."
Abadie said he does remember O'Gorman saying, near the end of the conversation, "I'm going to do what I have to do." "I didn't really know what to say to that, so I responded with 'Well, so will I.' He asked, 'Is that a threat?' and I said 'you can take that however you want.'" That's as heated as it got, to Abadie's recollection, and he told me, "I kept my hands in pockets on purpose."
So Abadie admits he was pretty surprised to be called down to the police station a couple days later. "I would have thought that if O'Gorman had something to say to me about how things went that night, that he'd come and talk to me like a man, like I did with him. It was surreal, because almost all of the stuff on the paper that Lt. Berg showed me was flat-out wrong. I know how careful I was that night NOT to threaten him, so it wasn't a stretch to be able to answer Lt. Berg's questions."
I viewed surveillance videotape Monday. Watching it, it doesn't look like anybody got threatened; it looks like two guys standing around talking.