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Continued: Health chief is grilled for four hours

  • Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 26, 2007 - 9:37 PM

"I don't know if you are taking a hit for the governor here or you made the decision. I hope you do decide to resign after this hearing," Tomassoni told Mandernach.

Secrecy alleged

The hearing expanded beyond the handling of the miners' deaths to examine Mandernach's managerial style. One Health Department manager testified that she was criticized for revealing too much in e-mails and that she was told by her immediate supervisor and by Mandernach to limit what she put in writing. Mandernach also acknowledged that many employees in the Health Department were kept in the dark about the study.

"You'd think this was the CIA rather than the Health Department," Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who chaired the hearing, told Mandernach. "Your department is putting together the action plan. You won't even share with your own staff that these people died?"

Mandernach said after the hearing that she did not believe the department operated in secrecy but would make an effort to be more collaborative.

"That was disturbing to hear and an allegation I'm not comfortable with. It begs me going back and having some discussions," she said.

Mark Brunswick • 651-222-1636 • mbrunswick@startribune.com

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