As others see it: A loophole that needs to be addressedLeave a small loophole opening for public officials and it is certain some will take advantage in order to hide information.
By: West Central Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
Leave a small loophole opening for public officials and it is certain some will take advantage in order to hide information.
Such is the case with the city of Minneapolis. The city declined full disclosure of information concerning the resignation of the city’s former regulatory services director, Gregory Stubbs. He resigned after receiving a $70,000 settlement in August, after only nine months on the job.
The city of Minneapolis said Stubbs was not a public official and thus did not have to disclose the complaint against him, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
Minneapolis used a loophole or weak spot in a new state law stating that governments must disclose reasons behind the “public official” resignations.
The Department of Administration ruled Feb. 13 that Minneapolis was correct and that the new law did not apply in this case involving a manager. The department also ruled that the loophole applies to other governments around the state. Further, the ruling said that a complaint against any public official is only public if an “employee resigns or is terminated from employment while the complaint or charge is pending.”
These loopholes should be rectified as soon as possible.
Rep. Pam Myhra, R-Burnsville, has announced she will move immediately on legislation to close the loopholes.
If a public official resigns after a complaint is filed and receives a severance payment to resign, the citizens of any government entity in Minnesota deserve to know the background.