June 22, 2017 06:11 PM
On Thursday, the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority announced it has hired a law firm and will launch an internal audit of the security company that was hired to patrol U.S. Bank Stadium.
The board is participating in an audit launched last week by SMG, the company the MSFA hired to manage U.S. Bank Stadium.
Interim Board Chair Kathleen Blatz said the board also is aware of a state investigation into the Monterrey Security Firm. However, Blatz says she, herself, has not received any reports of wrongdoing by Monterrey Security. She says she also has not received a report on the initial allegations or findings.
"I, on behalf of the authority, have taken these allegations very seriously," Blatz said. "However, I personally have not received a report."
As KSTP reported earlier this month, state and federal investigators are taking a look into allegations that Monterrey falsified government documents and hired people with serious criminal convictions. There are also allegations that some employees with felony records did not receive proper security clearance.
The various audits and investigations surround claims that the Monterrey Security hired security officers and ticket takers with serious criminal convictions all while ignoring state-required background checks and falsifying government documents.
"From a security perspective, given everything that's happening in the world right now, I get really concerned," said State Representative Sarah Anderson. "I think this investigation is another example as to why we need to have legislative oversight."
Anderson pushed for lawmakers to take on more oversight of the Stadium Authority but there was never a final vote on the legislation.
"Clearly there's a problem if there's that many individuals looking at it and even if nothing illegal has been done, clearly there is an ethical issue here at hand."
Anderson vows to bring her bill back next session.
As of right now, the stadium will continue using Monterrey for security while the audit is underway.
However, the authority has asked the state to contact them immediately if it finds anything going on that could affect public safety.
"If the allegations have placed the public in imminent harm or the employees in our building in harms way, I would appreciate if they could notify me so that we can take specific actions," Blatz said.
In addition, the MSFA board announced that, effective immediately, the board chair post will be reduced to a part-time position. The salary for the part-time position will not exceed $60,000.
"I feel very strongly that a part-time position would be adequate to provide the oversight and supervision that is necessitated by this position," Blatz said.
The MSFA also approved a code of ethics for its executive employees, banning them from taking part in political activities while on the job. It is also attempting to clarify the job duties and responsibilities of the chair and the executive director. The board also approved salary raises of 4.5 percent for executive employees, with the exception of the executive director.
Updated: June 22, 2017 06:11 PM
Created: June 22, 2017 12:08 PM
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