by Timothy Charles Holmseth
Elected officials in East Grand Forks, Minnesota face increased scrutiny in what appears to be a cover-up of serious criminal activity involving loan fraud and money-laundering.
On June 3, 2014, the Grand Forks Herald reported the EGF city council voted to hire an outside attorney, Fargo-based lawyer Brad Sinclair, to handle affairs surrounding an unpaid $510,000 loan made to Boardwalk Enterprises.
“City Administrator David Murphy said the idea was brought to him by a couple of city council members,” the Herald reported.
The news report does not name the Council members that conferred with Murphy; nor does it state where they met.
MINNESOTA OPEN MEETING LAW
Minnesota State Statutes 13D.04 – NOTICE OF MEETINGS – sets forth clear laws and regulations regarding when and how elected officials and government can meet and/or hold a meeting.
There is no indication the public was noticed that Murphy was meeting with members of the EGF City Council to discuss Boardwalk Enterprises. However, according to Murphy, discussions from the meeting ultimately resulted in a vote being taken by the City Council regarding City Attorney Ronald Galstad and Boardwalk Enterprises.
VOTING TO HIRE THE OUTSIDE ATTORNEY
The June 3, 2014, EGF City Council meeting agenda, which was emailed to the public on May 30, does not contain any information whatsoever regarding City Attorney Ronald Galstad or the proposed hiring of an outside attorney to handle the unpaid Boardwalk loan.
But a vote did take place.
The city council voted to hire Fargo-based attorney Brad Sinclair on June 3, 2014, and he officially began that role on June 4, 2014. That would mean Attorney Sinclair must have been contacted prior to the June 3, vote and was prepared to represent EGF if the council voted to do so.
EARLY INDICATIONS OF COVER-UP
On April 30, 2014, the Herald reported ‘$510,000 loan to EGF goes unpaid for 10 years’.
On May 7, 2014, David Murphy, administrator, City of EGF, told WDAZ that city officials met with “representatives” of “Boardwalk Enterprises” and their “attorney”.
As of today’s date, the City of EGF will still not disclose the identity of the attorney that was representing Boardwalk Enterprises at the May 7, 2014, meeting. The meeting was held at the private office of EGF City Attorney Ronald Galstad (as opposed to EGF City Hall).
Likewise, EGF officials will not disclose whether or not the City’s actual attorney on May 7, 2014 – Ronald Galstad – was actually representing the City at the meeting.
Many are beginning to speculate that Galstad was actually representing Boardwalk Enterprises at the meeting (hence – the meeting was held at Galstad’s private office).
If Galstad was Boardwalk’s lawyer on May 7, 2014; EGF city officials could face criminal investigation themselves for actively covering up a series of felonies and organized crime.
On May 27, 2014, Galstad gave a presentation to the EGF EDHA board during a public meeting. He gave a summary rundown of what his internal investigation had determined thus far regarding the un-paid loan. Galstad investigated the Boardwalk issue by scouring through all the files. Crucial documentation regarding the loan simply did not exist – as if all traces of the loan had simply disappeared.
If Galstad was Boardwalk Enterprises attorney at the May 7, 2014, meeting, that means EGF officials allowed Boardwalk Enterprises full and un-fettered access to scour (sanitize) the files until June 3, 2014, when they finally replaced Galstad.
And – it appears city officials did in fact believe/know something was amiss.
On June 3, WDAZ reported the City Council voted to hire Fargo-based attorney Brad Sinclair to represent EGF regarding the unpaid loan. Sinclair replaced Galstad for purposes of the ‘Boardwalk’ issue. “This is just for removing any questions of conflict of interest or just to get a neutral third party to look at it.” Murphy said.
Murphy has never expanded upon why he and the un-named City Council members believed Galstad might have a “conflict of interest” or may not be “neutral” regarding the issue.
Murphy and other would be required to answer these questions to state or federal investigators; or under deposition.