Sviggum insists new job vetted by U of Minn. brass 19 Jan 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – University of Minnesota Regent Steve Sviggum says he consulted with the board chairwoman and a school lawyer to go over conflict of interest rules before he accepted a high-paid position for Republicans in the Minnesota Senate.

Sviggum’s account Thursday conflicts with one from Board Chairwoman Linda Cohen and university general counsel Mark Rotenberg. The school is reviewing Sviggum’s status on the university governing board now that he is employed by the Senate, which allocates state money to public colleges.

Sviggum is a former Minnesota House speaker and state agency commissioner. He will be paid more than $102,000 to be communications director for the Senate.

Sviggum says he won’t step down as a university regent. He said he spoke with Cohen and Rotenberg last week before officially applying for the job.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)