Bridge collapse inspires threats against MnDOT employees, senator says

  • Article by: PATRICIA LOPEZ PLOPEZ@STARTRIBUNE.COM
  • Updated: August 6, 2007 - 7:38 PM

MnDOT employees are facing threats in the wake of the I35W bridge collapse, says the chair of the Senate Transportation Committtee.

Some Minnesota Department of Transportation employees have found themselves the target of "very serious threats" in the wake of the 35W bridge collapse, Sen. Steve Murphy said in a Monday news conference.

Murphy, who heads the Senate's Transportation Committee, said he learned of the threats this morning, after a site tour by House and Senate transportation committee members.

Murphy said that both Capitol Security and the state patrol had been alerted and were looking into what he described as "serious threats by email and phone calls" to more than one department employee.

As a result, he said, MnDOT is considering taking bridge inspection reports off its website until the names and contact phone numbers for individual bridge inspectors and other officials can be removed.

"I'm as frustrated and angry as anyone else that this happened," Murphy said. But the bridge inspectors should not be the target, he said. "They've done what we asked them to do... These bRidge inspectors should not shoulder the burden of threatening phone calls in any way."

Murphy said he would not elaborate on the threats, but said that MnDOT was taking measures to protect its employees and that law enforcement was looking into the threats.

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