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Following Wilf revelation, Dayton open to reevaluating Vikes stadium in special session

Dayton was once the stadium's biggest supporter. What a difference Zygi's unflattering lawsuit (and disastrous e-pulltab revenues) makes.
Dayton was once the stadium's biggest supporter. What a difference Zygi's unflattering lawsuit (and disastrous e-pulltab revenues) makes.

Mark Dayton is "deeply concerned" about courtroom revelations that Zygi Wilf demonstrated "bad faith and evil motive" in bilking his partners in a New Jersey apartment development out of $51 million.

NOT THE FIRST TIME DAYTON'S THOUGHT TWICE: Dayton's angry letter to Wilfs means "Vikings could be back in play for L.A.," NBC writes

So concerned, in fact, that he at least says he's willing to reevaluate the still-not-finalized Vikings stadium deal in a special session this fall.

Dayton's staff released the following statement from the Governor this morning:

"I am deeply concerned by the Judge's findings that the Wilf family committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty; violated New Jersey's civil racketeering statute; and presented untruthful and inaccurate financial statements. Those practices are far from the legal standards for doing business in Minnesota.

The Court's findings pertain to a case that is unrelated to the agreement negotiated last year with the Wilfs and the Vikings. However, since the Stadium Authority has not yet signed the final agreement, I would urge the Board to have its legal counsel assure them and the people of Minnesota that all of the representations made by the team and its owners are truthful and accurate."

Dayton also had some comments about the situation during an appearance at Farmfest in Redwood Falls this morning. Political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger shared this interesting tidbit:

Also this week, it was revealed that e-pulltabs at MSP have generated a total of just $33,586 in revenue so far this year . For the year as a whole, e-pulltabs at MSP bars were expected to generate $3 million. In general, the e-pulltabs expected to fund the state's portion of the nearly $1 billion stadium cost have consistently generated less revenue than expected .

So might Zygi's legal woes give Dayton the political cover he needs to extricate himself and the state from a stadium deal that is proving more problematic than he envisioned? (Assuming one of the "representations made by the team and its owners" doesn't turn out to be as "truthful and accurate" as initially thought.) Frankly, given how far along plans are both for the stadium and for the surrounding area, we doubt it.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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