The mayor of Waseca is accused of falsely claiming to live at a residence within city limits leading up to the election.
Randy Lee Zimmerman, 48, faces two felony counts of perjury in writing under oath. The charges were filed in Waseca County Court on May 31.
A criminal complaint says the City of Waseca received communication on November 16 suggesting an independent investigation into Zimmerman. The complainant “raised concerns about the defendant’s residency, and alleged that he did not live within the City of Waseca.” The complaint was forwarded to the Albert Lea Police Department for investigation.
Investigators learned that in August 2022, Zimmerman filed an Affidavit of Candidacy for mayor using a 4th Ave NE address in Waseca. He used his home address in rural Waseca – Woodville Township – as his campaign address, according to court documents. The affidavit contained language stating that the candidate “will have maintained residence in this district for at least 30 days before the general election.”
In Oct 2022, Zimmerman filed a change of address with the U.S. Post Office, indicating his new mailing address was the 4th St NE address, according to the complaint. Investigators say the 4th St NE property was owned by Zimmerman’s mother, and city water and electricity remained in her name.
The following day, Zimmerman purchased an unimproved residential lot on 19th Ave NE in Waseca, which remained unimproved through all of 2022, according to the complaint.
November 8, Election Day, Zimmerman allegedly changed his voter registration to the 4th Ave NE address in Waseca and voted at the corresponding precinct. The complaint says he signed the registration application which states: “I swear or affirm that I reside at the address shown.” Zimmerman’s wife, however, voted in the Woodville Township precinct, according to investigators.
Zimmerman told detectives that he intended to move into Waseca city limits if he was elected mayor, and he and his wife had found the 19th Ave NE lot in August or September. Court documents say he admitted that he planned to break ground this spring.
The charging document says Zimmerman, his wife, and his sons all had driver’s licenses using the Woodville Township address, and four family vehicles were also registered to that address.
“The defendant had no intention of moving from [the 4th Ave NE address],” reads the complaint. “Although the defendant may have intended to acquire a new residence when he moved to [19th Ave NE], that was not enough to establish residence with the City of Waseca.”
The investigation determined that Zimmerman’s address at the time of the election was the Woodville Township address.