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Vikings owners’ legal woes concern Dayton

REDWOOD FALLS -- Gov. Mark Dayton has asked the agency building a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium to see if team owners’ New Jersey legal problems could affect the Minneapolis stadium.

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A final stadium construction contract is not due to be signed with the Wilf family until fall, Dayton told reporters after he spoke today at the Farmfest event in southwestern Minnesota.

Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf face racketeering allegations that they breached a contract and were not truthful in making some financial statements in an apartment complex real estate deal.

“Those practices are far from the legal standards for doing business in Minnesota,” Dayton said.

The New Jersey case may not be related to the Vikings stadium, but Dayton asked the stadium authority to look into whether all comments made by the Wilfs in relation to the stadium are “truthful and accurate.”

The Legislature, with Dayton leading the effort, voted to fund a nearly $1 billion stadium next to the existing Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. While plans are underway and the law has been signed, the state and the Wilf family have yet to sign a construction contract.

Dayton said he did not expect the sports authority’s investigation to be done by the time lawmakers return to a special session, probably on Sept. 9, to deal with disaster funding. If the investigation produces problems lawmakers need to consider, however, Dayton said he would consider asking them to take action.

The Vikings say the New Jersey lawsuit will not affect the team or new stadium.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.