MINNETRISTA CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS UPDATE: No judgement as of yet but Respondents in the case, which include Minnetrista Mayor Lisa Whalen, two present council members (Mortenson/Tschumperlin), one past council member (Thoele) and leaders of the “Our Minnetrista” organization, have admitted that contributions recorded as coming from individuals actually came from “Our Minnetrista” and were deposited into “Our Minnetrista” accounts, not accounts belonging to the candidates themselves as their disclosure reports showed. Subpoenaed bank records also showed many of the contributions to “Our Minnetrista” far exceeded the $600 statutory contribution limit. The scheme involved taking contributions that exceeded the limit and dividing them up among the candidates and recording them as multiple smaller contributions.
The scheme managed to go undetected for years until a banking regulation required that checking accounts opened under an assumed name had to be registered with the Secretary of State’s office. The discovery of the registration of “Our Minnetrista” as an assumed name led, among other findings, to the eventual filing of the complaint.
Both Complainant and Respondents have requested a summary disposition in the case. The Office of Administrative Hearings is reviewing the case but has not yet ruled.
Media contacts: https://mn.gov/oah/media/media-contacts.jsp (OAH case# 71-0325-35774)