Council wants more information on sand involvementThe Red Wing City Council wants more facts surrounding Mayor Dennis Egan’s involvement with the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.
The Red Wing City Council wants more facts surrounding Mayor Dennis Egan’s involvement with the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.
The issue came before the City Council on Monday because of concerns raised by members of the council and the community, Council President Lisa Bayley said.
Members voted unanimously during their meeting to hire someone outside the city organization to investigate the situation. The council will establish a set of questions to be answered, likely to include more details of Egan’s contract and the timeline of discussions with the sand group. The council also decided to ask the state attorney general to provide some legal opinions on conflicts of interest and recall petitions, which some local citizens have started.
Egan maintained there is no conflict of interest in holding both positions. He said there is no frac sand mining issue before the council right now and if one came up he would sit out the discussion and any actions.
“I take my responsibility as mayor very seriously,” Egan said. “Like most elected officials throughout Minnesota I have a job that supports my family.”
He owns Egan Public Affairs, and the sand group is a client, he noted.
Council members generally agreed there was no legal conflict of interest. But some said the perceived conflict was key.
“What I see is the public confidence has been so severely shaken,” Bayley said. “I just don’t see how these two positions are compatible.”
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s edition of the R-E.