Skip to main content

Gov. Tim Walz changes policy for state agencies after allegation of 'crony hiring' in Iron Range

DFLer Joe Radinovich was hired by the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Gov. Tim Walz has implemented a new policy for state agencies after the appointment of a DFL candidate to a government position led to complaints of "crony hiring."

The Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR) recently hired Joe Radinovich, who ran unsuccessfully as the DFL candidate for the 8th District in the November mid-terms, to a managerial position that pays $100,000-a-year.

But as the Duluth News Tribune reports, the appointment was made after the IRRR received permission by the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget to post the opening for a single day.

The Timberjay reports that the position appears to have been created specifically for Radinovich, and is a "permanent classified" position that is supposed to be nonpolitical and subject to state hiring guidelines to ensure a fair process.

What's more, the newspaper found "substantial evidence" that the IRRR passed over a female candidate with more experience and education in favor of Radinovich.

The Office of Gov. Tim Walz told BMTN it was not involved in any decision-making related to Radinovich's hire, nor was it involved in the budget office's decision to vary its ordinary hiring procedures.

Nonetheless, Gov. Walz's office has announced a government-wide hiring policy in the wake of Radinovich's appointment, that will require "all classified managerial positions of this kind to be posted for at least 21 days."

"Any exceptions will require direct approval by the MMB Commissioner or his designee," Gov. Walz's spokesman Teddy Tschann said.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily Bring Me The Newsletter

Gov. Walz's office also cited its record of hiring a diverse workforce, saying: "The Governor is committed to hiring the most qualified candidates and building an Administration that reflects the diversity of Minnesota. Over two thirds, 67%, of the Governor’s staff is female and nearly half, 47%, of the Governor’s appointees to boards and commissions are people of color or indigenous Minnesotans."

Among those raising concerns about Radinovich's appointment was Rep. Sandy Layman (R–Cohasset), herself a former commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB).

"I am deeply troubled by a hiring process at the IRRRB that lacked transparency and fairness," she said in a statement.

"As a former IRRRB Commissioner and a member of the board now as a legislator, I have spent years working to improve the image of the agency. This kind of political maneuvering undermines public confidence in the agency and reinforces the worst impressions people hold – fairly or not – about the IRRRB."

For more, check out The Timberjay's investigation into the Iron Range controversy.

Next Up


Ryan Poles picking Chicago creates battle of the rebuilds with Vikings

Both of the Vikings' GM finalists land in the same division looking to return to relevancy.

David Ortiz

Twins congratulate David Ortiz on HOF induction, it ends badly

Twins fans haven't forgotten the biggest mistake in franchise history.

Snowmobile tracks Any Arthur Flickr

Who left the burnt snowmobile on a frozen Minnesota lake?

There wasn't much left beyond the frame and a few other large, metal parts.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Charges: Drunk council member fled police on wrong side of Hwy. 100

The complaint alleges he caused a wrong-way crash, then drove around an officer that tried to stop him.


What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.

ice fishing close unsplash

'It's disgusting': Anglers dumping sewage on to popular ice fishing lake

A local CO told Bring Me The News it's people in newer, RV-style wheel houses.

Alejandro Rios and Michael Steward

Reward offered for information on 2021 double fatal shooting in St. Paul

It's been a year since Alejandro Rios and Michael Stewart were found dead on the sidewalk.


Joe Radinovich

DFLer resigns from state post after claims of 'crony hiring'

Joe Radinovich announced his resignation from the IRRRB Thursday.


Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz announces COVID-19 vaccine changes

Vaccines will be made available to all adults from Tuesday.

Tim Walz

Gov. Walz plans shutdown changes: here's what we know

Details are starting to leak out ahead of the announcement.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Walz gives update on state's coronavirus response

He is speaking alongside several other state leaders and the Ecolab CEO.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends Stay at Home order till May 18, with changes

The governor confirmed the order's extension during his Thursday press conference.

Tim Walz

Watch: Gov. Tim Walz delivers State of the State address

The governor addresses Minnesota during an unprecedented situation.


New $440M wood manufacturing plant to be built on Iron Range

A $15 million forgivable state loan for the project was approved Monday.