Our View: Unauthorized perks

The growing umbrage over the misuse of luxury suites at the new U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings, resulted in the resignations of the top two administrators on the Minneosta Sports Facilities Authority on Friday. Chairwoman Michelle Kelm-Helgen announced her resignation Friday morning. Executive Director Ted Mondale resigned in the afternoon.

They had been under intense scrutiny and criticism since it was revealed they had allowed friends and family members to use two luxury suites at the stadium to watch Vikings games. The suites available to the MSFA are supposed to be used for marketing purposes — entertaining concert or event promoters who might lease the stadium, for example.

No laws were broken when about half the tickets to the suites were used for family and friends of the authority. But it raised a lot of legislative eyebrows when the unauthorized perks came to light.

It makes one wonder what other privileges or assets may have been misused for the benefit of the families of the MSFA bigwigs. The legislative auditor should keep looking into this operation.

Republicans are pushing legislation to revamp the authority, giving the Legislature more power to appoint members. Kelm-Helgen and Mondale had both been appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Perhaps it is time for a revamping of the authority. After all, the stadium has been built, and the authority is entering into a different management function.

Whatever the Legislature comes up with, it should have absolute clarity on what privileges and perks the authority officials are entitled to.


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