Governor to speak for first time since October hospitalization

November 20, 2018 05:32 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton’s office announced he will answer questions by phone on Tuesday morning from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. It will be the first time he’s been publicly available since he was hospitalized in early October.

Dayton had back surgeries on Oct. 12 and 15 at the Rochester hospital.

"Last month, I had two surgeries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester to resolve continuing issues with my spine, which were affecting my leg strength and my balance," the governor said in his statement. "I had expected to return to St. Paul a few days later. Unfortunately, I experienced post-surgical complications, which caused damage to my lungs."

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RELATED: Gov. Mark Dayton to Undergo 2nd Back Surgery in 4 Days

According to records from Dayton's Office, from Oct. 16 through Oct. 28, he had no public events.

In daily email blasts from the governor’s communications office, there were no updates that he was still in the hospital until a brief mention on Oct. 29 in a news release about trick-or-treating for kids at the Governor’s residence.

In the days since the Halloween release that he was in still in the hospital, Dayton’s office has sent out the same daily email saying, ”Governor Mark Dayton will meet with commissioners and staff throughout the day. These meetings are closed to the press.”

It wasn't until last week where more details were revealed that the governor was still in the hospital.

Dayton has held one conference call with his cabinet since he went into the hospital, and a few commissioners have driven down to Rochester to meet with the Governor, while conducting other business by phone and email, according to staff.

Due to the continued hospital stay, Dayton has yet to meet in person with Governor-elect Tim Walz on the transition of power.

RELATED: Gov. Mark Dayton to Undergo Lower Back Surgery Friday Morning

”Governor Dayton, his cabinet members, and his staff are working tirelessly to ensure we have everything we need to hit the ground running in January,” said Governor-elect Walz said in a statement. “Governor Dayton has been available by phone every time I’ve sought his counsel, and we plan to meet in person when he returns to St. Paul.”

The governor’s staff said on Tuesday morning he could share when he plans to return to St. Paul.

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Eric Chaloux

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