A Sweet Theft

The culprit

Don’t ask Rep. Deb Kiel of Crookston to swipe something for you.

Before the House went into session Friday, while the House chamber was nearly empty, Kiel sat at the desk of Rep. Nick Zerwas of Elk River, summarily emptying a drawer of his infamous stash of candy. In its place, she placed bags packed with vegetables.

But if this was supposed to be a quiet caper, Kiel failed. More than a dozen news reporters and photographers, waiting for a briefing about a minimum wage increase bill, watched the whole episode from the House gallery.

After the briefing, some reporters stayed in the gallery to see Zerwas’ reaction.

The victim walked into the chamber, toting a bag of Lay’s potato chips, candy bars and a couple cans of carbonated beverages. When he opened to drawer, expecting to top off his storehouse of sugar-based goodies, he saw the veggies.

Zerwas picked up a couple bags of the healthy food, held them up and began a long laugh. Then, he took the veggies to a back room to share with other lawmakers.

All the while, Kiel was trying to contain her own laugh while talking to House officials in the front of the chamber, keeping her back to Zerwas to conceal her amusement.

The victim