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Jeffrey Meitrodt

Reporter | Investigations
Phone: 612-673-4132
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: German

Jeffrey Meitrodt is an investigative reporter for the Star Tribune who specializes in stories involving the collision of business and government regulation. 

Previously, Meitrodt was an investigative reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He also covered the Illinois statehouse for the Chicago Tribune. He grew up in southeastern Minnesota and graduated in 1984 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism. He has won national journalism awards for his reporting on public corruption in Louisiana and Illinois, and for his coverage of corporate misconduct and educational disparities in Minnesota.
Recent content from Jeffrey Meitrodt
Unlike the popular Payroll Protection Program, there is little interest being shown in a new round of federal short-term loans.

Few takers expected for the Fed's new $600 billion business loan program

Main Street program has risks for small businesses.
Minneapolis architect James Garrett Jr., who hoped to land an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) of about $400,000, said he will take the $150,000 i

SBA abruptly drops disaster loan limit from $2M to $150K

The agency's stealthy moves even upset the region's top SBA administrator, who said he was unaware of any rule changes and frustrated by the lack of communication.
Dr Pete L'Allier is now slowly bringing back his workers, but he said it will be at least 90 days before his practice is at 100%. That means he will b

Why a red hot small-business relief program has gone cold

After snapping up more than $500 billion in emergency loans in just three weeks, small-business owners have lost interest in the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Minnesota business owners are among those who may give back a chunk of their forgivable loans.
Attorney Erick Kaardal, shown in 2017, represents the business owners in the lawsuit,

Small-business owners want court to strike down Walz closure orders

Lawsuit says big companies are given unfair advantage under stay-at-home orders in Minnesota.
A sign on a closed store in North Miami, Fla.

Small business loan program reboot off to a 'very frustrating' start

Banks had trouble getting loans through the SBA system as scramble begins for additional $310 billion.
Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.

Will businesses suffer Minnesota tax headache from relief programs?

Minnesota House Republicans urge quick action, but business owners say concerns may be overstated.
Hector Ruiz closed his four restaurants on March 15, but he recently started doing takeout at Cafe Ena - his flagship restaurant in Minneapolis. Ruiz

As small business program reboots, owners blast initial rollout

Minority- and women-owned businesses shut out in first round hope key changes will give them a better shot.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, April 13, 2020, in W

SBA loan program tapped out; Minnesota companies got $7.6 billion

With just a fraction of businesses able to get into the program, officials renewed calls Thursday for Congress to approve more money.
In this April 2, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump and Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, listen as Treasury Secre

SBA disaster grants slow to arrive and may be smaller than expected

Senators question delay; 'We are doing everything we can,' SBA official advises.
Mandy Wroolie, who owns Minisota Play Cafe, has struggled to get an emergency loan.

Big banks take heat over small-business loan program response

Many small-business owners complain of challenges in finding a bank willing to handle their application for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Customers, some wearing face masks, line up outside a Wells Fargo branch inf Los Angeles on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Wells Fargo to resume making emergency small-business loans

The Federal Reserve Board temporarily eased restrictions on the bank's lending limit.
Customers, some wearing face masks, line up outside a Wells Fargo branch inf Los Angeles on Friday, April 3, 2020, Wells Fargo said that it is no long

Small business bailout effort sees early struggles: 'We're all a little panicky right now'

Owners say they are being turned away as federal-bailout funds are depleted.
Luke Shimp isn’t sure a small-business loan will save his Red Cow and Red Rabbit restaurants.

Race is on for small business bailout: 'I'm worried the funding is going to run out'

There is skepticism about the feds' ability to manage a huge flow of money, as well as the lending capacity of its approved borrowers.
Washburn-McReavy, a Minnesota institution whose roots go back to 1857, has 16 locations in the Twin Cities including this Crystal funeral home.

Family dispute roils Twin Cities' largest funeral home company

Battle for Washburn-McReavy could force the 160-year-old family business to sell.
Darrin Lundeen of New Hope in his basement that flooded last year when his solar installer failed to properly connect the system. The sump pump failed

Minnesota homeowners out thousands of dollars after second solar installer fails in two years

Pending legislation in Minn. would allow victims to recover some of their losses.
A lawsuit filed by the original owner claims that this house was fraudulently marketed by the real estate agent in order to facilitate a sale to her s

Lawsuit: Broker helped son pocket $217K on Lake Minnetonka house by hiding their tie

Seven months after buying a home on the shore of Lake Minnetonka for the bargain price of $142,000, Cristian Fisk flipped the property to someone…
Uber driver John Myles Henning was pulled over after running a stop sign and nearly colliding with another car. Altogether, he has had six moving viol

Star Tribune 2016 investigation: Mpls., St. Paul hit and miss in checks of Uber, Lyft drivers

Minneapolis and St. Paul have made it easy for people with criminal records or bad driving histories to work for ride-sharing companies.

Minneapolis skin clinic operator is practicing medicine without license, state regulators say

Lyndale Av. practitioner says he'll prevail in court.
The court-appointed receiver that is unwinding Edina-based Welcov Healthcare settled the government’s overbilling suit last week by agreeing that We

Owners accused of siphoning millions from Edina nursing home company

Welcov Healthcare fell into bankruptcy early this year, and a court-appointed receiver is unwinding the company.
Herbert Ward, died May 10, 2019 at age 71. He was tenured professor and chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at University of Minnesota.

Former U cardiothoracic surgery chief Herbert Ward dies at age 71

He could fly a helicopter one day and perform open-heart surgery the next.
Josh Maddux’s career as a financial adviser ended after he couldn’t repay taxes on his $287,000 bonus. He said, “It’s not easy to begin a care

How brokers' big bonuses can lead to ruin

In this high-stakes gamble, failures destroy careers and hurt clients in process.
Robert Klas Sr.

Manufacturer, philanthropist Robert C. Klas Sr. dies at age 91

When his first child was born with a learning disability in 1951, a doctor told Robert Klas and his wife that they should put the…
Workers walk next to a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane parked at Boeing Field, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Seattle. The fatal crash Sunday of a 737 MAX 8 o

Minnesota firm faces questions amid Boeing 737 Max investigations

A little known Minnesota company is attracting the attention of investigators looking into the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610, the first of two fatal accidents that led to last week's grounding of Boeing's 737 Max jet.

Senior care company Welcov Healthcare is 'winding down operations,' report says

Edina-based company on verge of expansion in 2015 has faced state scrutiny for care violations and now operates only 22 facilities instead of 60.
Harold Theiste

Harold Theiste, computer software pioneer, dies at 82

Getting kicked out of class may have been the best thing that ever happened to Harold "Hal" Theiste.It was the first day of school at…
Alan Page at a Page Education Foundation awards ceremony in 2015. Page will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest honor for

Ex-Viking, Justice Page to get Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Trump cited his athletic accomplishments, his long judicial career and his charitable work. Page is one of a handful of well-known Minnesotans to receive the honor. The ceremony will take place Friday.
Steve Fingerett

Warner Bros. radio representative Steve Fingerett dies at 67

His job was procuring radio airplay for musicians ranging from Christopher Cross to Van Halen, and he delivered for 22 years.
Able Energy moved to St. Paul this spring after their landlord in Oakdale kicked the company out for not paying rent for three months. The company's t

Able Energy ordered to repay $1.5 million to customers

Able Energy must repay $1.5 million to defrauded clients, a judge has ruled.

Newspapers seek help on pension requirements

Costs adding pressure to industry, coalition says.

Honeywell engineer, veteran and lover of brats Raymond Gottsacker dies at 94

His legacy includes four engineering patents, a Purple Heart earned during World War II and a 500-word love letter to his wife.
Able Energy owner Mike Harvey

Owner of solar-installation company admits problems, says he's trying to catch up

Able Energy faces license revocation hearing.
Small-town publisher Larry Dobson says Dodge County authorities went too far in keeping his camera’s memory card and searching all its images after

Dodge County sheriff, journalist butt heads after incident at drowning scene

After deputies confiscate camera at drowning scene, each side claims the other acted unreasonably.
After hearing from dozens of unhappy customers of Able Energy Co., state officials are moving forward on two fronts to help Minnesotans recover thousa

Able Energy's unfinished solar projects spark legislation, state fraud suit

State officials are seeking restitution for customers who are still waiting for solar installations after making big down payments.
Bill Doi

Bill Doi, World War II internee and social activist, dies at 101

Doi was a veteran of the Twin Cities advertising scene and a leader in the local Japanese-American community.
Tom Petters, shown at a Petters Aviation open house in 2008, is serving a 50-year sentence for the largest financial fraud in Minnesota history.

Tom Petters bankruptcy trustee alleges fraud via $100 million claim

Investor Michael L. Stern says he did nothing wrong by asking for up to $100 million.

KleinBank settles closely watched discrimination case

KleinBank will open a Hennepin County branch.
Former star wrestler Timothy Krieger, seen in 1982, is facing lawsuits by employees and investors after the bankruptcy of Aspirity Holdings.

Facing $30M in losses, investors fight back against ex-wrestler's firm

Fraud claims follow company's bankruptcy.
Able Energy recently moved to St. Paul from Oakdale.

Solar company Able Energy challenges state license revocation order

State says Able Energy engaged in fraud for taking down payments and not doing the work. Scope of problems is unprecedented in Minnesota.
A St. Louis Park company, Air T, has filed a lawsuit seeking to expose the identity of an online critic of the company.

Who is bashing Air T online? Company files lawsuit to find out

The criticism comes in the wake of a rocky year for Air T, which lost $3.2 million on revenue of $148 million in 2017.
Brad Anderson, former CEO of Best Buy, contributed money to a group that ran ads vilifying Muslims.

Ex-Best Buy CEO donated to group that ran anti-Muslim ads

Brad Anderson says he didn't know Secure America Now was involved in the ads. His $25,000 donation was meant as support for Israel, he says.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is moving to revoke the license of Michael J. Harvey and his new company, Able Energy, in the wake of d

Minn. regulators say they botched investigation of electrician

Regulators working to pull Able Energy's license.
Able Energy recently moved to St. Paul after their landlord in Oakdale kicked the company out for not paying rent for three months. The company's truc

Customers of St. Paul solar installer fuming as 120 projects unfinished

Able Energy, which faces fraud complaints, has 120 unfinished projects in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
William E. ‘Bill’ Mullin dies at 83.

William E. "Bill" Mullin, lawyer and political activist, dies at 83

Whether he was working for Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign or advising a first-time politician, Minneapolis attorney Bill Mullin could be counted on to deliver for…
Garrison Keillor performed at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz., on Feb. 28, in his first show in months.

Keillor case tests blurry legal lines surrounding workplace relationships

Sexual banter between workers and supervisors is a minefield, lawyers say.
Garrison Keillor, shown during a 2016 “Prairie Home Companion” show, gave his first interview since his break with MPR.

Keillor shares dozens of e-mails and asserts banter was mutual

The former MPR radio host said he was not trying to seduce the woman, and backed off when she complained about his conduct in 2015.
Chris Thile returns Saturday to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for the first show since MPR severed ties with Garrison Keillor.

Former 'Prairie Home' returns for first time since Keillor scandal: 'It's been really hard'

Host Chris Thile talks about bringing the radio show back to the Fitzgerald Theater, saying "the show must go on."
Dan Rowles, upper left, joined “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1985 as a stagehand and soon worked into a spot on the cast.

Source of Garrison Keillor allegations shocks those close to radio host

Longtime "Prairie Home" employee Dan Rowles alerted MPR after being dismissed from the show, seven show staffers say.
Adrian Peterson ran off the U.S. Bank field at the end 2016 finale. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ - January 1, 2017, Minneapolis, MN, US

Adrian Peterson ordered to repay Edina bank $600,000 over loan

The running back borrowed $2.4 million from Crown Bank in 2016 to refinance other debts, according to court records.
Counterfeit Super Bowl and NFL merchandise confiscated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials is displayed before a news conference Thu

NFL warns fans to be wary of counterfeit goods, tickets

Federal agents who usually fight terrorists are stalking our skyways and scrutinizing shopping tags.
In this May 21, 2016, photo, Garrison Keillor appears during a live broadcast for "A Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis. “W

Wishing to be heard, Garrison Keillor now is planning return from scandal

Stalled talks with MPR over exit focus on archives, but he wants cash and more.
Garrison Keillor accused Minnesota Public Radio of a “breach of good faith” in releasing complaint details.

MPR lays out its case against former host Garrison Keillor

Minnesota Public Radio said the woman who worked for the host of "A Prairie Home Companion" alleged "dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents ... over a period of years."
Dr. Ted Truitt performed sinus surgery in 2008 and talked to the patientduring the procedure. Entellus Medical and Truitt developed the sinus operatio

Stryker to buy Plymouth-based Entellus Medical for $662 million

It's unclear how the deal would affect the 280 workers employed by the maker of products to treat sinus problems.
Harold Fabriz

Longtime FBI agent Harold 'Hal' Fabriz dies at 85

Harold “Hal” Fabriz, a veteran FBI agent who worked the front lines of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, helped prevent violence in Mississippi…
According to a Ramsey County lawsuit and interviews with eight current and former drivers, Green & White excluded blacks from driving for corporate ac

Black drivers: Twin Cities taxi company shut them out of high-paying work

Green & White denies that it shut them out of high-paying work for corporate accounts.
Tim Krieger as an Iowa high school wrestler in 1982.

Nov. 15, 2017: Probe of trader Tim Krieger cleared to proceed

Focus is how millions in company assets vanished before bankruptcy filing.
Altogether, 34 people were hospitalized and seven people died from eating apples contaminated with listeria, according to the federal Centers for Dise

Second Minnesota suit filed following deaths from tainted caramel apples

The lawsuit, filed this month in Ramsey County, is involving one of the nation's worst outbreaks of listeriosis in recent years.
QFO Labs CEO Brad Pedersen, left, and President Jim Fairman are looking forward to a big Christmas shopping season for the anticipated popular gift.

Suit: Big French firm ripping off Minnesota drone maker

A tiny Bloomington company called QFO Labs last week asked a federal judge to block a large French company from selling its ­popular drones at Best Buy, Target and ­Amazon, arguing the foreign manufacturer ripped off its design.
Charles Barry, right, the former CEO of Twin City Fan, reached a settlement with his children over control of the company. Family members questioned h

Twin City Fan Cos. family rift yields multi-million dollar settlement

Charles Barry will sell his share to end legal dispute.
Ameriprise Financial headquarters sign in downtown Minneapolis. David Denney Star Tribune 7/24/2013

Allstate alleges Ameriprise is stealing agents, client info

Ameriprise denied the allegations, claiming that many of the confidential documents identified by Allstate are readily available to "anyone with a computer, car or phone or access to the court."
Tim Krieger in 1982.

U.S. trustee pursues investigation of former star wrestler Tim Krieger

Probe would seek to uncover how millions in Aspirity Energy assets disappeared.
Thrivent headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

Executive sues Thrivent, saying he was fired because he is black

Thrivent denies allegation, saying he violated their leadership standards.
Amazon's campus in Seattle, Wash., photographed from the roof of Amazon's Port 99 building. Real-estate developers from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., a

Minnesota plans a 'modest' bid in high-stakes Amazon battle

So far, the most valuable incentives package comes from Newark, New Jersey, where state and local officials have teamed up to offer $7 billion in tax breaks. Dayton said the pitch outlines the state's existing incentive programs, which have a $3 million spending cap.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told Iowa officials “we admire what you guys have accomplished” in creating an environment to attract job-creating companies li

Iowa dramatically outspends Minnesota to lure companies like Amazon

Minnesota spends much less than its neighbors to attract big employers.
Tim Krieger, wrestling in 1982.

Investors could be out $30M as ex-wrestling star hits bankruptcy in Minneapolis

Tim Krieger won national championships in wrestling and made millions in commodities trading. Then his once-flourishing business collapsed.
Mark Mahon, a former state representative from Bloomington, died Sept. 7 at age 87.

Former Minnesota Rep. Mark Mahon, a strong voice for working people, dies at 87

When the phone rang at 2 a.m. at the Mahon house in east Bloomington, the four boys always knew it was a call for Dad,…
The geodesic domes are part of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. The online retail giant is searching for a second headquarters — perhaps the Twin Ci

Plenty of Twin Cities sites would work for Amazon; other challenges loom

Among them: Can the metro can provide enough workers? And would public officials ante up the kind of incentives necessary?

Anchor Bank sold to Old National for $303M

Anchor's chief executive said partnering with a larger bank was its best option for growth.
Pantry essentials and office supplies can be found at the stores. The man pictured above said it was worth going out of his way to save on staples at

Big changes afoot for Twin Cities convenience stores

New players could bring big changes to the Twin Cities convenience store business
Charles Barry is accused of spending corporate money on his longtime mistress, now his wife, Kathleen Bryan-Barry.

Lawyers say feds are probing Twin City Fan Cos. after family dispute

Family fight for control over funds has attracted the attention of the IRS.
Holiday stores typically generate sales that are twice the industry average for both food and fuel, according to incoming owner Couche-Tard.

Holiday sale would create chain of convenience stores in more states than 7-Eleven

Canadian firm's purchase also is a major shake-up of the local convenience store business.
Charles Barry is accused of spending corporate money on his longtime mistress, now his wife, Kathleen Bryan-Barry.

Owner's affair divides family, costs Twin Cities fan business millions

The five members of the Barry family are fighting over who should be in charge of the family business, a manufacturing company that employs 1,500 people in five states, including 300 at the firm's Plymouth headquarters.
Paul Skarstad

Medtronic scientist helped lead big changes in medical devices

Paul Skarstad was a pioneering scientist at Medtronic who helped shrink the size of pacemakers and other medical devices by designing smaller, more powerful batteries…
Laura Cramer stands to lose nearly $200,000 in the alleged fraud perpetrated by “great salesman.”

Feds investigate possible fraud by Mound man who promised big returns

Mound man used investor money to buy vehicles, trips and pay off personal debts, court records say.
In March, Jeannie Bowers was shocked to find more than $7,700 missing from a joint TCF Bank checking account that she held with her daughter. TCF tran

Consumer watchdog that has helped thousands of Minnesotans now faces uncertain future

A fierce debate is underway in Washington over whether to restructure the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau or perhaps eliminate it.
FILE - This is a Nov. 8, 2015, file photo showing Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden on the sideline during the second half of an NFL footbal

NFL player sues Ameriprise over broker he claims stole $15 million

Dallas Cowboys running back claims firm suspended broker, had suspicions about trades.