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Dayton appoints Sertich to replace Benson on stadium authority

Sertich, a former legislator and once the state commissioner of the IRRRB, will fill the spot on the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority that became vacant when Duane Benson resigned.

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed former legislator Tony Sertich to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, replacing Duane Benson, who had resigned after a flap with the chair.

The MSFA is in charge of building the new $1 billion publicly subsidized Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Benson, a former NFL player and state legislator, resigned from the board in June, saying Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen had called him “untrustworthy” and a “liar.” Because of that, Benson said it would be “untenable” for him to continue working with her.

Kelm-Helgen said she has not called any commissioner a liar.

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Today, Dayton appointed Sertich, who’d once been the state House majority leader, to the sports authority. Sertich is now president of the Northland Foundation, a community foundation focused on rural Minnesota.

Dayton said in a statement:

Tony Sertich has successfully led major economic development projects. He is also experienced in bringing fractious leaders together to achieve their shared goals. Both of these skills will be valuable additions to the MSFA Board.

Sertich, also a former state commissioner of the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, said:

As a voice for rural Minnesota, I look forward to working with my fellow MSFA members to guide the stadium construction project to a timely and successful close.

Three of the authority’s five part-time members, including the chair, are appointed by the governor and the other two are appointed by the city of Minneapolis.