Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finally, Regent Sviggum 

Does the Right Thing

[a shame that it had to come to this...

Sviggum to resign from the Board of Regents

The Board unanimously approved a resolution that would force Sviggum to choose between his dual roles. 
Steve Sviggum will soon resign from the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents.
In an emotional speech in front of the entire board, Sviggum challenged the board’s reasoning and the fairness of the process that reviewed whether he could simultaneously hold his board position and a new job with the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.
Sviggum said he would step down if asked and promptly left the board room. Board Chairwoman Linda Cohen said she wasn’t surprised by his announcement, and will ask Sviggum to resign.
“I couldn’t see him giving up a job he’s really good at,” Cohen said of Sviggum’s position as an executive assistant in the Legislature.
The remaining 11 board members unanimously accepted an ad hoc committee’s recommendation that Sviggum must choose between his dual roles. That recommendation was triggered by legal opinions from two attorneys – one from University general counsel Mark Rotenberg, and another from an independent attorney – which said Sviggum’s two jobs created an unmanageable conflict of interest.
Soon to be one member short, Gov. Mark Dayton and the state Legislature will be responsible for filling Sviggum’s vacant seat on the board. Cohen guessed that seat may be filled by the next board meeting in early May.

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