Legislative auditor clears Minnesota Orchestra of impropriety

Posted on: June 14, 2013

“The state Legislative Auditor’s Office has found no improprieties in how the Minnesota Orchestra Association used state money—both general operating funds and a $14 million bonding grant to help complete a renovation of Orchestra Hall,” writes Graydon Royce in Thursday’s (6/13) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “The report, issued Thursday, said the orchestra complied with legal requirements concerning grant money received from the State Arts Board from 2010 through fiscal 2012.… This year, the orchestra received $960,000 from the Arts Board. Concerning the remodeling of Orchestra Hall, the auditor said, ‘We did not identify any payments for costs that did not comply with applicable legal requirements.’ The organization received $14 million toward the $52 million project, which is scheduled to be finished in August.” The report was instigated at the request of 100 legislators from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, writes Royce, who had “expressed concerns that [Orchestra President Michael] Henson gave too rosy a picture of the organization’s finances.… Legislative Auditor James Nobles said organizations seeking state money have varied approaches.… ‘There isn’t a standard for what people are supposed to disclose,’ Nobles said. … Board member Doug Kelley said he hoped the auditor’s report would ‘remove one of the musicians’ impediments to negotiations.’ ” Musicians of the orchestra have been locked out in a labor dispute since October.

Posted June 14, 2013

Minnesota Orchestra photo by Brian Peterson