Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Dan Schoen is ready to turn in his Washington County lawmaker credentials, but not his gun and badge. Faced with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, Schoen, a Democratic state senator from St. Paul Park, has officially notified Gov. Mark Dayton he'll resign Dec. 15. The letter was delivered Monday, Dec. 4, to Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, the top Democrat in the Senate. But Schoen, who is on the Cottage Grove police force, said he wants to remain a cop.
ST. PAUL — The backlog of vehicle titles and registrations in Minnesota's new computer system has gotten so big that a supervisor recently instructed staff to focus on speed and "accept the additional risk of errors in our work." An internal memo obtained by the Pioneer Press also described bureaucratic work for more expensive vehicles as "more critical" than the same tasks for lower-priced ones.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota has hired a Colorado IT firm for $26 million to handle the state's driver's license system as it gears up for a major change. The job of FAST Enterprises will be to ensure that the state's troubled new computer system, known as MNLARS, can take on driver's licenses before an October 2018 deadline to ensure the state's licenses comply with new federal Real ID requirements. MNLARS thus far has been criticized for the way it has processed — or not — vehicle license registration and titles since a rollout in July.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken has spoken. Amid the fallout from allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, the Minneapolis Democrat on Monday, Nov. 27, gave brief one-on-one interviews to numerous Minnesota media outlets and faced the Washington, D.C., press corps live outside his office on Capitol Hill, where he returned to work after Thanksgiving recess. In the face of repeated questions, he generally offered the same substance to his answers: • He's sorry. • Women's experiences should respected.
ST. PAUL — Depending whom you ask, Minnesota's new computer system to handle vehicle licenses and titles is either mostly working with glitches, or barely working with major failings. Those who say mostly working — generally the folks in the state Department of Vehicle Services and IT Services — note that of the 650,000 transactions the new system, known as MNLARS, has processed since its launch in July, the ones that have fully failed number in the mere thousands — a percent or 2.
ST. PAUL—Two Minnesota lawmakers are resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment, and on Wednesday Gov. Mark Dayton said it shouldn't take long to replace them. Dayton said he'll call for special elections soon once he receives formal notices from state Sen. Dan Schoen, a Democrat from St. Paul Park, and Rep. Tony Cornish, a Republican from Vernon Center.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen and state Rep. Tony Cornish — both under fire since sexual harassment allegations against each surfaced earlier this month — will resign. On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 21, Schoen's attorney said the St. Paul Park Democrat and Cottage Grove police officer will formally announce his resignation at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota lawmakers got an earful Wednesday about the beleaguered new computer system intended to make life easier for anyone needing to deal with license plates and vehicle titles. In fact, it's made everything worse, according to license center workers, a credit union manager, an auctioneer and others who testified before a state Senate hearing. Here are some of their stories. 'WALKED OUT BAWLING' One license center operator from Brainerd said his workers are quitting out of frustration.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton said he will form a task force to find out why the state of Minnesota has failed to investigate thousands of complaints of theft, physical abuse and sexual assault of residents of senior care facilities. "The senior care failure is really appalling," Dayton said Wednesday, Nov. 15. The action is in response to a five-part series by the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune. Examining state records, it found:
ST. PAUL — In his first public remarks about the growing sexual harassment scandals sweeping through the Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that though sexual harassment is a "pervasive" problem through society, "there should be consequences — swift and consistent consequences." The comments came in response to a reporter asking about how to "change the culture" that many have cited as allowing men to act in inappropriate — or worse — ways toward women they have power over.