Anoka Co. Commissioner Faces Questions about Business Relationship
EDITOR'S NOTE: KSTP learned the Washington County Attorney's Office found no conflict of interest and no relationship that Erhart should have disclosed while doing county business. To read the follow-up story, click here: Investigator: No Conflict of Interest for Anoka County Commissioner
Long-time Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart faces tough ethical questions about a business relationship he did not disclose. Erhart is part owner of a company called White River Partners. His business partner in that company is man named Ralph McGinley. McGinley also works for Oppenheimer & Company. County officials say it's an investment firm, hired many times, to sell tens of millions of taxpayer-backed bonds for Anoka County. Erhart has voted many times to hire Oppenheimer to sell the bonds, but has not disclosed his business relationship with Ralph McGinley.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS shared its information with the head of the Anoka County Commission and she told us it is the first time she has heard of the apparent conflict. Commission Chair, Rhonda Rivasarjah, says she wants the Anoka County Attorney to review Erhart's relationship with Ralph McGinley and whether his failure to disclose that relationship violates any County policies.
Commissioner Erhart declined our request for an interview, but he did tell us by telephone that he did not disclose the business relationship because he did not think he was required to and he did not think it was a conflict because his business, White River Partners, did not benefit from Oppenheimer's relationship with the county.