Thursday, March 1, 2012

Please resign, Regent Sviggum...


Steve Sviggum has been told to make a choice. Mila Koumpilova’s PiPress story says: “An outside attorney and the University of Minnesota's own general counsel say Regent Steve Sviggum's job with the state Senate Republicans is in conflict with his board duties. University counsel Mark Rotenberg and Minneapolis attorney John Stout both see a 'fundamental, systemic clash' between Sviggum's unpaid regent service and his communications director job for the Senate Republican Caucus. In their opinions released by the school Wednesday, they wrote Sviggum cannot manage that conflict by recusals and needs to choose between the two posts.”

Jenna Ross’s Strib story says: “‘This systemic conflict cannot be eliminated, managed or cured,’ wrote John Stout, of the Minneapolis firm Fredrikson & Byron. ‘The public's confidence, the integrity of the Board and the protection of the University's public mission require that Regent Sviggum relinquish one of the two positions he currently holds.’ The U's general counsel, Mark Rotenberg, concurred. … A three-regent committee will consider the opinions at a meeting Friday before making a recommendation to the full board, which could vote on the matter March 8. Sviggum, who took the job as executive assistant to the Senate GOP caucus in January, has questioned Stout's impartiality and submitted a legal opinion of his own, by an attorney he has not named. In a letter to regents, Sviggum noted that he ‘expressed a great concern’ about having Rotenberg involved in any review of his situation. ‘I feel Mr. Rotenberg is not unbiased and has already made up his mind on the conflict of interest.’ The opinion Sviggum released Tuesday argues that ‘this current "inquiry" lacks policy and legal basis’ and concludes that ‘it is unlikely that Sviggum will be presented with any issue that presents an issue where his judgment may be impaired.'" 

Gentlemen, start your hourly billing clocks.

Comments on MinnPost

Sviggum has disgraced himself. 

Let me get this straight, Sviggum's anonymous lawyer disputes the impartiality of the University's lawyers? Seriously? He won't even tell us where he got his counter-opinion but he's sure the U can't be trusted to be impartial?

Uh huh. Even if this were a high school debate Sviggum wouldn't get any points.

Mr. Swiggum is a little too clingy... these 2 jobs, which makes me suspicious. Why not thank everyone for their assistance and step aside with some grace?

Why is Steve Swiggum so determined to hold both positions?

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