Red Wing mayor resigns to become frac sand lobbyist

Published 9:16 am Monday, February 25, 2013

RED WING — The mayor of Red Wing said he will resign amid public pressure over his second job as a frac sand lobbyist.

Mayor Dennis Egan said that while he believes he could have legally continued to serve as mayor while working as executive director of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, he would step down April 1 because the lobbyist job had become a distraction.

“I believe that a mayor must live to a higher standard than just avoiding conflicts of interest,” Egan said. “If a mayor’s activities serve as a distraction or roadblock for the city, the public is not well-served.”

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Since Egan insisted weeks ago that he could ethically hold both jobs, he has faced a recall effort and a City Council investigation into details of when he started consulting for mining companies, how much he was earning, and what his contract said. The council will now drop its effort to investigate, said City Council member Petty Rehder.

“I think it is the right decision,” Rehder said of Egan’s resignation. “I just think it is unfortunate that it took this long.”