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Two breaches of public trust getting judicial scrutiny

"On Oct. 24, the Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Hayden and Ostrow v. City of Minneapolis, et.al. Two Hennepin County district court judges in three separate opinions have ruled that the Minneapolis City Council has no authority to maintain and operate the Commons Park adjacent to US Bank Stadium. Nonetheless, the City Council has continued to operate and maintain the rent-free space, purchased by the city for $20 million for the benefit of the Vikings, at public expense, pursuant to an unlawful agreement. The Court of Appeals will consider whether the citizens of Minneapolis have “standing” – the right to sue – to nullify this agreement.


"These scandals involve extraordinarily wealthy individuals or corporations with a history of financial misdeeds receiving special consideration without any serious vetting process. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was fined $32 million for violating racketeering laws in New Jersey. Glencore has been investigated throughout the world for money laundering, corrupt practices, financial exploitation and bribery.


"One would assume that if public officials choose to enter into agreements under these circumstances, they would go to extraordinary lengths to protect the public. Sadly, that is not the case. Neither the City of Minneapolis nor the state Legislature has engaged in any meaningful oversight of stadium expenditures."


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[MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan]

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