Mpls. officials seek audit of $400K transfer between police associationsby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis city officials say they've asked the state auditor to look into a $400,000 transfer of funds made between two city police officer associations.
Officials want to know if the transfer between the Minneapolis Police Relief Association (MPRA) political fund and the Minneapolis Retired Police Association (MRPA) legal fund violated state law.
On Wednesday, city finance director Pat Born sent a letter to MPRA president Larry Ward with several questions about the transfer. Born alleges that the city's representatives to the MPRA board were not properly notified of the June meeting when the transfer was approved.
"It just suggests to us that something's going on here that the Association doesn't want the city to be aware of," Born said.
MPRA attorney Brian Rice said Born's assertion that the city's representatives were not notified of the meeting is "entirely false." Rice added that after being notified of the meeting, one of the city representatives RSVP'd to say he wouldn't be able to attend.
Ward said there was nothing illegal or inappropriate with the fund transfer.
""The transfer of funds from the organization, which was members' money -- not pension money -- was transferred for the concerns and protections of members because of the ill-advised lawsuit against the police retirees," Ward said.
Four years ago, the city sued both the police and firefighter relief associations for miscalculating benefit payments to members which over-charged the city. Last November, a judge ruled in favor of the city and ordered the associations to correct their calculations going forward. The ruling reduced the city's pension obligation by $10 million a year -- starting this year.
Ward said the appeal is an attempt to get the money back that retirees and widows have already lost.
"The retirees are already reduced [by] $426 per month," Ward said. "This started the first of January, and this will continue to the end of the year. That will be approximately $5,000 taken from the retirees and half of that from the widows."
Lawyers for the association have until next week to file legal briefs for the appeal. The appeal is expected to get a hearing next spring.