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Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles sends stern letter to Perpich Center for Arts Education

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles sent a letter to the executive director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, urging her to hand over information his office is seeking, saying a failure to do so currently makes her "noncompliant with state law." 

The auditor is conducting a review of the Perpich Center, whose leader Sue Mackert has faced some criticism for leadership of Woodbury's Crosswinds Arts and Sciences School, which was taken over by the state arts agency in 2013. 

The controversy with the school was first reported by Minnesota Public Radio. 

The Office of Legislative Auditor is given wide berth by state law to conduct investigations of state agencies and institutions that receive state money.  

The auditor "has never received this kind of non-responsiveness by a state agency," Nobles writes in the letter to Mackert. Nobles threatens to use his subpoena power, which he said the auditor has never been forced to resort to. 

Nobles then provides a deadline of May 25 to hand over documents. 

The law cited by Nobles provides that a judge could find Mackert in contempt of court if she does not comply with the information request. 

Mackert could not be immediately reached for comment. 

Gov. Dayton declares 'Beyoncé Day' in Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton seemingly decided to make lemonade out of this year's "lemon" session, declaring Monday "Beyoncé Day" in Minnesta ahead of the singer's concert at TCF Bank Stadium.

The 34-year-old singer from Houston is on tour and last month released her latest album, titled "Lemondade."

The governor declared May 23 "Beyoncé Day," highlighting the singer's influence on "many young girls and women with powerful, positive messages in her songs."

The declaration was short, but it highlighted the 34-year-old Houston singer's success in the music industry. "Beyoncé's impact and success has been widely-recognized," according to the declaration, before listing off her accomplishment.

It comes just hours after the legislative session collapsed in dramatic fashion without a deal on transportation funding or a public-works bill.

Caption: Beyoncé performs during the Formation World Tour in Miami April 27. (Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for Parkwood Enterainment)