Impostor lived at governor's mansion
ST. PAUL (AP) -- A man who befriended Gov. Jesse Ventura's son and lived in the governor's mansion in the summer of 2000 was kicked out because he wasn't who he said he was, according to law enforcement, former mansion officials an...
ST. PAUL (AP) -- A man who befriended Gov. Jesse Ventura's son and lived in the governor's mansion in the summer of 2000 was kicked out because he wasn't who he said he was, according to law enforcement, former mansion officials and Ventura's spokesman.
The Twin Cities man, identified by the Star Tribune and WCCO-TV as Stewart Peters, claimed to have Hollywood connections and said he lied to the Venturas because he wanted a part in a short film being directed by Tyrel Ventura, the governor's 22-year-old son.
But after Tyrel Ventura became suspicious of the man, he talked to state police, who ran a background check and found he was an impostor, said Col. Ann Beers, the head of the state patrol.
"We evicted him from the mansion," said Beers, who added the family had posted a notice at the mansion telling staff and security he was a guest and should be treated as family.
The news comes amid reports from the mansion staff that Tyrel Ventura threw weekend parties at the historic residence, damaging furniture and fixtures while taxpayers footed the cleanup bills. On Tuesday, Ventura announced he wouldn't seek a second term, partly because he said he wanted to regain privacy for his family.
During the ruse, the impostor took advantage of the amenities at the mansion -- the former residence manager says the staff did his laundry, cooked his meals and security drove him places.
The amount of time the man stayed at the mansion is disputed. Dan Creed, the residence manager who was laid off by Ventura, said he was there about a month. Beers said it was probably less than a month "but in that neighborhood." John Wodele, Ventura's spokesman, said Tyrel Ventura said the man was there only a week and a half.
Wodele said Creed "was duped also. In fact he played tennis with him." Wodele said that as a result, troopers began checking driver's licenses of Tyrel Ventura's friends at the mansion and did background checks.
State police say the incident was not a security breach, since they'd been instructed to treat him as family. "We are not going to run criminal histories on the first lady's family or friends," said Capt. Tom Fraser.
Peters has several active warrants for his arrest in connection with small offenses, but doesn't pose any violent public threat, said Apple Valley Sgt. Michael Marben.
Wodele was asked about having an impostor living in the mansion when Ventura has made a major issue about the importance of security for himself. Wodele said that the impostor was not an ax murderer, and if he were, troopers would have known about it.
There's a big difference, he said, between "someone misrepresenting himself as a movie actor and someone who could bring physical harm to the Venturas."