BY COUNCILOR LITTLE:
WHEREAS, Minnesota State Statute Section 3.979, subd. 4, makes it a misdemeanor for public officials to prematurely release draft reports from the legislative auditor’s office; and
WHEREAS, the legislative auditor for the state of Minnesota believes there was a breach of law when a copy of the draft audit report on the Minnesota Council on Compulsive Gambling (MCCG) was leaked to the media on or about May 26, 2005; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Bergson has taken responsibility for giving the document to the Duluth News Tribune; and
WHEREAS, the legislative auditor sent a request to the St. Louis County attorney to investigate and prosecute anyone in violation of Minnesota Statute Section 3.979, subd. 4; and
WHEREAS, the St. Louis County attorney’s office noted that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter and turned the case over to the Duluth city attorney; and
WHEREAS, the city attorney’s office has been informed by the state board of professional responsibility that a conflict of interest exists preventing it from handling this matter; and
WHEREAS, the Duluth City Code, Section 7, allows for the city council to employ and fix compensation of counsel, experts and employees to handle these matters.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council requests that the Duluth purchasing department, through normal procedures of contracting, employ a legal firm authorized to practice law in the state of Minnesota and capable to investigate, determine cause, and prosecute as necessary any city employee who has violated state law as noted above. Should this law firm find that no crime has been committed, they will report to the council this information and to the state legislative auditor.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution asks the purchasing department to find a law firm to handle the case that the legislative auditor brought to the county attorney’s attention regarding the premature release of the draft report to the Duluth News Tribune.