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Swanson probe leads to DFL sniping in the House

Last Friday, Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, made a motion at a Legislative Audit Committee meeting calling for an investigation into the employment issues surrounding the office of Lori Swanson, the state attorney general.

Simon withdrew his motion after 90 minutes of debate and an agreement by Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles that he would begin a preliminary inquiry on his own, without a directive from the committee. Simon, clearly going through some soul searching, noted that Swanson worked “three doors down from me” when both were in the AG’s office.

Now MinnPost has obtained an email sent by Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, doubting the motives of Simon’s efforts. The email was sent to a number of House members, and carried the subject line “In the interest of full disclosure.”

Hilstrom notes that she is an intern in the law office of former Attorney General Mike Hatch, Swanson’s predecessor and ally.

“I have talked to Mike Hatch,” Hilstrom wrote. “I think that as long as Representative Simon spends his time talking about his time working down the hall from Lori Swanson, he ought to disclose to people the facts and circumstances under which he was transferred without his consent from the consumer division to the education division by Lori Swanson.”

Simon confirmed this morning he knew of the email, but was not immediately ready to comment. A call to Hilstrom has not yet been returned. But the implication here is that Hatch is defending Swanson to the point of digging up dirt on Simon.

We will update as more develops.

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