Sen. Sean Nienow, sued by the federal government for non payment of a loan, said on Monday that the matter has nothing to do with his legislative work.

In a statement and a brief interview, Nienow, R-Cambridge, said he had not even seen a copy of the suit. The suit was filed in federal court on Friday.

According to the suit, Nienow and his wife took out a $613,000 loan in 2009 from the federal Small Business Association for their business which helps parents select summer camps. National Camp Association, Inc., however, did not comply with payment demands, the suit said. The government claims, they owe an unpaid principal balance of $558,076.53 and administrative costs of $189,861.09 for a total of $747,937.62.

Nienow said on Monday that he saw the headlines about the suit but had not read the articles about it, nor had he received a copy of the suit himself. He said it would not be responsible to comment on it until he receives a formal copy.

A fiscal conservative first elected in 2002, Nienow said that his business loan has no connection to his legislative work.

"Clearly, there's no connection at all," he said on Monday.

On Saturday, DFL Party chair Ken Martin accused Nienow of hypocrisy.

"While he claims to be a fiscal conservative his own actions suggest otherwise," Martin said of Nienow.


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