Wilfs are on notice: Keep Minnesota dealings clean

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2013 - 12:12 PM

New Jersey lawsuit should intensify scrutiny of Vikings stadium dealings.

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erikj3Aug. 12, 13 7:08 PM

It's funny how, with all the ink spilled during this stadium debate, the Wilf lawsuit (which might've killed the deal) was never revealed. Who knew about it and kept it a secret? Did the Legislature know, or did they fail to do their homework? Obviously the Wilfs knew about it, why aren't they being punished for not disclosing it? How about putting the deal on hold (or cancelling it altogether) until these and other questions are answered?

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jeffthompsonAug. 12, 13 7:33 PM

erikj3 - apparently it wasn't kept secret if the Star Tribune wrote about it on May 18th, 2011.

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kinnickAug. 12, 13 7:44 PM

Look who's carry the Wilf's water none other than the Tribune,all of a sudden worried about the east end of town!!! Sorry but L.A does just fine without the NFL as Al Davis found out!

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heckyousayAug. 12, 13 7:54 PM

re: "Who knew about it and kept it a secret?" - This caper was no secret, the matter was years in the works and was mentioned in the local news numerous times. The biggest news however was the judge's scathing rebuke of the Wilf family way of doing business. A lesson for Minnesota, and good cause for Minnesotans to be very prudent in our dealings with the Wilf empire.

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kinnickAug. 12, 13 7:57 PM

They found the perfect pair of 'shills' in Minneapolis,happy go lucky Rybek and nervous norvas Dayton--- no wonder Ziggy is always grinning!

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guth54Aug. 12, 13 8:01 PM

Too bad it is a civil lawsuit. If it was criminal, Zygi and crew would be going to prison!

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RossbergAug. 12, 13 8:22 PM

Far more than just being deal-breakers, the Wilfs were convicted of being racketeers and committing fraud to improve their situation. Seldom, if ever, will you hear a Superior Court Judge unleash the kind of invective against these people as was done in this case. It is totally illogical to assume that anyone who commits these immoral and illegal behaviors in a "private business matter" is going to behave in an entirely different way toward us and we should not accept the worry and cost of having to deal with untrustworthy people. But, if we unwisely choose to continue to deal with them then it should be on our terms and schedule, not theirs. Hopefully, they will be subjected to an immense judgement, including treble and punitive damages, to the extent that they will be unable to complete the stadium deal. That would end this heavily flawed stadium project, something which would be a huge relief to the public. It's inconceivable that the stadium agreement would have been put together in the same way had this court case been decided a couple of years ago. However, we are nowhere near a point of no return in this project and we should not rush toward any final approval of it. Nothing yet has been torn down, dug up, purchased, or committed to other than some preliminary plans and drawings so we have every reason and a timely opportunity to re-submit this to the Legislature in order to ensure that the new revelations regarding the Wilfs business practices receive full consideration. This can all be done in a matter of just a few weeks since a Special Session is likely to be called anyhow. There is nothing about the stadium project which has gone right so far and the state owes the public its best efforts to properly vet one of the largest projects in state history.

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bgmach3Aug. 12, 13 9:11 PM

Oh, I'm sure their scared. For once will one form of government KEEP YOUR EYES OFF THE GREENBACK AND SERVE YOUR CITIZENS!!. Our congress is up to their necks in favor payback for their re-elections now the force of the billionaire has twisted the arm of our state. When will it end? Oh, I know...just follow the example of what's happening overseas with the revolts... take note.

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rshacklefordAug. 12, 13 9:27 PM

I cannot wait to see their financial status/ledgers laid bare as KELM-HELGEN promised us would be done in light of this type of very bad business behavior by the Wilfs. Line items for paying lawyers to defend them, for MN officials campaign contributions, etc. It should be quite funny. Go get the books Kelm-Helgen and provide them to the Strib for publication in PDF file format. If the Wilfs refuse to provide Minnesotans proof of their claimed great financial standing, they get no stadium and it will be Kelm-Helgen who has the authority (she is the leader of an "authority," right) to halt this project. If the Wilfs whine about this, tell them that is what a public-private project is all about. I think a while back, the Wilfs claimed that exposing their finances would reveal "proprietary methods/trade secrets" that they use to manage their team successfully. Well, a judge in New Jersey just made their secretive methods public, haha.

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fatredneckAug. 12, 13 9:41 PM

Wonderful comment by @Rossberg. Quite a contrast to the low key editorial by the STrib. But let's face it, for Dayton the Vikings' Stadium is build it or bust. Let's just hope we don't wind up with a half-completed hulk in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. If recent estimates of the Wilfs' net worth are accurate, this legal judgement could put a severe pinch into their ability to finance their end of the deal.

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