Pulkrabek Pleads Not Guilty to Assault Charge

The Washington County commissioner faces a misdemeanor charge stemming from a Memorial Day incident in Woodbury.

Washington County Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek pleaded not guilty to fifth-degree assault this morning before a Chisago County judge.

Pulkrabek was stemming from a Memorial Day incident involving his girlfriend.

The misdemeanor charge 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 declined comment Thursday morning following the brief arraignment hearing.

But his attorney, Ryan Kaess, said he believes “very strongly” that Pulkrabek is not guilty and will “aggressively defend” him against the accusations.

The case was heard by Chisago County Judge John R. McBride to avoid a conflict of interest.

McBride ordered Pulkrabek to remain law abiding and stay within the conditions of a that agreed upon Wednesday during a civil court hearing held in Anoka County District Court.

A pretrial date will be set in the near future, after Chisago and Washington county court administrations work out a schedule, Kaess said.

The forthcoming pretrial and contested omnibus hearings will be held in Chisago County, but if the case goes to a jury trial that will be held in Washington County with Judge McBride presiding, Kaess said.

“I have not asked for a change of venue for the jury trial,” he said.

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, for more than eight months, she has said. 

Pulkrabek, 41, has maintained his innocence throughout the process. The commissioner was first elected to the Washington County Board in 1998 and is in his fourth term.


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