Defamation suit against 2 Hennepin Co. commissioners revived

  • Article by: Rochelle Olson , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 9:44 PM

Court of Appeals reinstates case filed by North Side couple against two Hennepin County commissioners over comments made in bid to buy property for library.

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la55122Feb. 3, 14 1:29 PM

The County will end up paying, one way or another. The defamation case will hinge on the lost "fair market value" because of the comments of the commissioners. Just like the Edina dry cleaners case, government has to be careful about condemnation even for a library.

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jugglerFeb. 3, 14 2:45 PM

Why do they need the land? tear down the library that is falling down and build the new on in the same spot?

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valhollerFeb. 3, 14 3:23 PM

Rochelle Olson has again not mentioned an important piece of information: since 2009 Hennepin County has owned over 83.000 square feet of land on which a 10,000 sq ft library could easily be built in our community.

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irelandguyFeb. 3, 14 3:23 PM

Didn't Mike Opat already cost the taxpayers of Hennepin County enough money with the bad deal he did with the Pohlad Family for Target Field? When are the voters in his district going to wake up and vote him out of office?

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psc56stribFeb. 3, 14 3:59 PM

Converting a routine eminent domain case into a defamation case was a real boneheaded move by the two commissioners. Taking private property for a public library is exactly the type of routine 'public use' the writers of the US Constitution's 5th ammendment had in mind. If the county was willing to pay the required 'just compensation' there was no way for the Hollers to stop the library project and no point for the possibly defamatory comments by the commissioners. If the only way the $15M library project could go forward was to pay the Hollers less than fair value for their property, the project deserved to die.

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valhollerFeb. 3, 14 4:27 PM

The actual opinion of the judges is available in pdf format at the mncourts.gov website. Under Home, court of appeals is the third link down. The Court of Appeals Opinions link takes you to the opinion sets. The Holler case is of the unpublished opinions released Feb 3, 2014. Case A13-1014.

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whosaysFeb. 3, 14 7:10 PM

And what comments exactly were defamation? It sounds like with the exception of the "sign as big as the IDS" were mere facts in the case. Again, what specific words could possibly be a defamation? As far as the stadium vote goes, compare the Twins stadium deal with the widely respected Pohlad Family (google their name and look at ALL of their contributions to the community) vs the Vikings deal and the Wilfs and the good Governor, Ted Mondale and RT Ryback.

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dahdahFeb. 3, 14 7:12 PM

Mike is a disaster for the public, that's for sure. That said, this court ruling is ridiculous---all Mike did was repeat what he had heard from underlings or expressed an opinion about an important public issue. If this is appealed to the Supreme Court, and it grants review, it is toast. A truly bad, irresponsible decision by the appeals court.

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