Investigation: Long didn’t violate ethics rules by taking U job

Published 7:01 am Thursday, January 2, 2020

By Briana Bierschbach

An outside investigation found DFL Rep. Jamie Long did not violate state laws or House ethics rules when he accepted a part-time job with the University of Minnesota.

The investigation, released Monday, looked into a grant-funded position Long was hired for last year at the Energy Transition Lab, a think tank connected to the university.

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In September House Republicans released internal documents showing Long discussed the job for months with Ellen Anderson, a former DFL senator who now works at the university.

They criticized Long for receiving preferential treatment and raised questions about whether his position would also include work to influence legislation on behalf of his employer.

Lawmakers, who work part time, are allowed to have outside jobs as long as they don’t personally benefit from their position in government.

But the 17-page report said investigators did not find any evidence that Long “communicated with public officials for the purpose of influencing legislative action.”

Long, a freshman lawmaker from Minneapolis, ultimately resigned from the job and Anderson was also demoted because the university said she appeared “too partisan” in hiring Long, according to the investigation.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, asked for the outside review after House Republicans released internal documents about his hiring. In a statement, Hortman said the report “completely exonerates” Long from allegations of impropriety.

House Republicans didn’t respond to the investigation.