Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Vikings stadium is in trouble. Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered an investigation into the Wilf family’s finances in the aftermath of a New Jersey judge’s ruling that the Wilf family committed civil fraud.
But on Friday, the attorney leading the investigation said the Wilfs are not turning over the documents they are being asked for.
The Wilfs are warning that a drawn out investigation will lead to costly delays.
The controversy over the Vikings deal was supposed to be coming to an end — after all, the legislature had voted for the nearly $1 billion deal and the Governor had signed the bill back in May.
The final lease agreements were supposed to be signed this week but that has been delayed because of the New Jersey ruling and the additional investigation the Governor has ordered into the Wilfs.
While a Vikings spokesperson said the Wilfs are cooperating fully, on Friday the attorney heading up the investigation said that is not the case.
Gov. Mark Dayton was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning at the state fair.
“It depends on what is found in the investigative audit,” Dayton said. “If it finds that this incident was an aberration, that’s one thing. If it finds that it’s part of a consistent pattern, then that’s something else. The bottom line is that they own the Vikings and you have to deal with them if we’re going to keep the team here the way it’s set up now.”
There is also a dispute over who will pay for the additional investigation with the state saying they will bill the Wilfs and the Wilfs, so far, not agreeing to pay.
The New Jersey judge is expected to announce within the next few weeks what the punitive damages against the Wilfs will be. That figure is expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
A Vikings spokesperson is insisting whatever the figure, it will not affect the Wilfs ability to finance their $477 million share of the deal. The other $498 million is being paid for by Minnesota taxpayers.
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