The state auditor of Minnesota released an investigative report concluding that "there is no reason" to second-guess the decisions made by the Two Harbors City Council regarding Mayor Chris Swanson.
The investigation also revealed that Swanson may not have properly disclosed interests in organizations and businesses that went before the city council.
Swanson has been asked to resign from his position by city council members, twice. The first time in was in May, with Swanson announced in a news conference he would not resign. Then, in June, the city council again requested his resignation. Swanson did not respond to that request.
A recall vote is set to take place Aug. 9.
According to the investigation, State Auditor Julie Blaha determined the following:
"The city council and the city attorney acted appropriately in considering whether certain product by the mayor violated provisions of Minnesota law, the city charter, the city code and the city communications policy, given that whether a conflict of interest exists is a question of fact for the city's governing body to resolve the first instance."
The investigation addressed concerns from residents and city officials regarding Swanson's undisclosed business connections.
"Clearer understanding of the Mayor's business ties would have addressed a number of the concerns we received," Blaha wrote. "In the interest of transparency, we recommend requiring yearly economic disclosure statements for Two Harbors elected officials."
Swanson shared some but not all of the organizations he was associated with before he was elected mayor, according to the findings.
"The [Office of State Auditor] found instances where city actions involved one or more of the businesses that appear to be connected to the mayor," the report said. "Documentation suggests that the mayor may have disclosed an interest in some of these businesses. For others, we found no documentation of such disclosure."
The report goes on to say Swanson disclosed his involvement with Life Garage, LLC as "a mentor and advisor and as the father of Callie Swanson." However, along with Burlington Station, the report didn't mention the thousands of dollars of loans either got through the city-run nonprofit, the Two Harbors Development Fund.
The mayor has been in hot water for public comments he made about investment projects in the North Shore city, which included a proposal of a $400 million underwater hotel in Lake Superior. Swanson was also scrutinized for having the financial backing of an alleged billionaire podcast host who is unknown to the public.
The mayor was also heavily criticized for making numerous references on Twitter to blockchain, decentralized autonomous organizations, CityCoins and web3.
You can read the full results of the investigation by clicking here.