Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Hutchinson Charged $17,588 Over 4 Months on His Company Card
In December, Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson flipped his cop car while driving drunk. Next, he apparently shifted his focus to racking up debt on the company credit card. Public records show that, from December 23 to April 22, he charged $17,588 on a bunch of fancy meals, less fancy meals, flights, gas, dry-cleaning, and a variety of other junk.
When contacted via phone, Tom Lyden at Fox 9 reports that Hutchinson responded, “If they want to nickel and dime me for coffee, let them.” A few highlights from his credit card: $667 at Good Day Café in Golden Valley; $282 at Perkins; $2,700 on airfare and hotel accommodations for a one-day human trafficking convention; $263 on Uber and Lyft rides while at the conference; $2,150 for an online negotiations course; and $240 on a white noise generator coworkers say he used to cover up his phone calls.
Hutchinson is already on a monthly payment plan to recover the money lost when he totaled his company car. That number could possibly be going up in light of his spending. Hutchinson is currently filing for PTSD disability and compensation, and is also under investigation for creating a racist, toxic, very bad work environment.
Is University Minnesota President Joan Gabel overpaid, and did she benefit from a conflict of interest within the Board of Regents? Probably! But don’t take our word for it: A current U of M regent (Darrin Rosha), former Minnesota governor (Jingle All the Way booster Arne Carlson), and #NeverTrump politician (Richard Painter) all agree, according to a letter they issued last month to the Legislative Audit Commission. The crux of the beef is the fact Gabel’s contract “expressly gives the board chair the sole power over the president’s performance assessment, financial bonus and the president’s goals and objectives without any approval by the remaining 11 regents,” the letter argues.
Carlson alleges that the man who helped hire Gabel and approve her pay boosts, former Board of Regents chair David McMillan, represented “a conflict of interest and potential quid pro quo,” Maia Irvin and Madison Roth of the Minnesota Daily report. “As far as I know, he has no background in academic administration whatsoever,” Carlson writes. Adding to those raised eyebrows: Gabel called off a search for a new UMD chancellor that had been narrowed down to three candidates, including a Black man, a woman, and some guy named Dale Whittaker. Then, suddenly, the Gabel-created search committee arrived at the conclusion that “no other candidate is more suitable for this interim role than Mr. McMillan.” Hm! Anyway, the Daily did a bang-up job getting into the weeds of this messy academia drama; read their whole in-depth story here.
A W for Doe V. Minnesota
On Monday, a state district court ruled that many of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions, including the 24-hour waiting period and the requirement that young people notify both parents before they can receive abortion care, are unconstitutional. The ruling follows more than three years of litigation in Doe v. Minnesota, in which local abortion rights organizations challenged more than a dozen state restrictions. “In light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, every piece of red tape matters for Minnesotans and people traveling to Minnesota for abortion care,” Shayla Walker, executive director of Our Justice and a plaintiff in the legal challenge, said in a statement. “Today’s ruling is an important step toward making abortion accessible to everyone who needs it.” The state has 60 days to appeal the decision; Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told the Star Tribune that his office has not yet decided whether to appeal.
Concert News: Da Boss in St. Paul; Da Lakefront Music Unveils Headliners
Bruce Springsteen is taking a break from having boring podcast conversations with Obama to do what he does best: Deliver nightly three-hour marathon performances that pull from his vast, sterling catalog. On March 5, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will bring his E Street Band back to St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, where they staged a triumphant run through The River back in 2016. (I, Jay, would love to reference my review, but Star Tribune Media Co. nuked CP’s archives into the earth for no reason.) Speaking of being annoyed: Tickets go on sale July 21, according to today’s announcement, though fans must deal with the rigamarole of this pre-sale registration in order to score tickets whose prices have not been revealed. But hey, Springsteen wouldn’t approve of all this goddamn negativity… let’s focus on the positive. “After six years, I’m looking forward to seeing our great and loyal fans next year,” the 72-year-old music legend said in a statement. “And I’m looking forward to once again sharing the stage with the legendary E Street Band. See you out there, next year—and beyond!” Sounds good, Boss!
In other boomer music news: Prior Lake’s annual Lakefront Music Fest is returning with its hybrid rock/country model—aka the Donny and Marie special. Neither Osmond will appear at Lakefront Park from July 13-14, though on Monday we learned who would: classic rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd (reviewed with my dad for CP; also lost forever) on Friday and country stars Lady A (formerly known as the unfortunately named Lady Antebellum) on Saturday. Tickets ($100 two-night; $65 single) are on sale now.