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Jeffrey Meitrodt

Reporter | Investigations
Phone: 612-673-4132

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
Teachers in the Anoka-Hennepin school district recently approved a new contract. In this photo, union members, teachers and supporters rallied outside

Teachers approve new contract in Anoka-Hennepin school district

The deal would use up most of district's share of a recent state boost in education funding.
Minnesota Child Protection Task Force members listen as Ariana Guerra, Policy & Advocacy Manager with Foster Advocates, speaks Thursday, Jan. 11,

Legislators want to hire experts to diagnose Minnesota's ailing child protection system

The proposal is one of several, including another pushing for a statewide child abuse hotline, in response to the Star Tribune's investigation that showed widespread problems.

Student hospitalized after stabbing at Minnetonka High School

The school says student was struck with an "art tool."

Tentative deal with teachers could result in staff cuts at Anoka-Hennepin

"Monumental" contribution from state not enough to fund raises at Minnesota's largest school district
Legacy of Dr. Josie R. Johnson Montessori charter school in Minneapolis closed recently with financial woes. Several Minnesota charters are trying to

Meltdown of prominent CPA firm comes amid crisis for Minnesota charter schools

One owner's theft led to the demise of The Anton Group, which worked for dozens of charter schools across the state, where there is a shortage of firms to help with finances.
Minnesota Child Protection Task Force members listen as Ariana Guerra, Policy & Advocacy Manager with Foster Advocates, speaks Thursday, Jan. 11,

Who should lead in protecting Minnesota's abused children?

A Star Tribune series exposed failings in the county-run child protection system, but advocates on Thursday cautioned against the problems of a state-run system.

Legislators seek ways to reform state's child protection system

The discussion about remaking the system comes after a Star Tribune investigation showing hundreds of Minnesota kids are harmed each year after being returned home.
Photos of Eli Hart from a family photo album. Eli’s mother fatally shot him 10 days after she was granted full custody.

Legislators vow to reform Minnesota's child protection system

"Tough questions need to be asked" about oversight, use of Family Assessment and funding for case workers.
“I know what it feels like when you are not heard by the people who are supposed to protect you,” said Jayma Lawson, who was abused by her stepfat

'I could have lived a normal life': Minnesota child abuse victim says protection system failed her

There were 41 reports of abuse and neglect involving Jayma Lawson and her two siblings between 2004 and 2021. Just seven led to investigations. More than half resulted in no action or were referred to a controversial alternative pathway in the Minnesota child protection system.
Kay Emel-Powell, one of the authors of Betty Crocker cookbooks, died earlier this month.

Kay Emel-Powell, a real-life Betty Crocker, dies at 76

As a cookbook author, she developed and tested recipes for home cooks.
September 2, 1972 A winning start for Central coach Richard Robinson watched carefully as his Central football team trained North 8-6 Friday. His coac

Richard Robinson, a Hall of Fame coach and mentor, dies at 87

In addition to football, Robinson coached boys and girls basketball and track.
A Bair Hugger medical warming device demonstration from 2018 aimed to show how the warm air the device creates creates a draft that could contaminate

The latest chapter in the 3M Bair Hugger litigation: A motion to remove a federal judge

Four years after a federal judge unsuccessfully tried to dismiss lawsuits suing 3M because of its patient-warming device, lawyers of more than 5,000 plaintiffs are trying to boot her from overseeing the stalled litigation.
Clayton Halunen in 2014.

Disgraced Twin Cities lawyer faces tougher punishment for sexually harassing employees

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled a six-month suspension for Clayton Halunen is "inadequate" discipline.
Serene Warren with her late father, pharmaceutical pioneer Ken Evenstad, before five years of what the judge called “massive, unrelenting” litigat

Judge issues stern ruling in feud among one of Minnesota's richest families over $1B estate

The judge concluded that the daughter of pharmaceutical pioneer Ken Evenstad should receive a fraction of the $228 million she sought.
Upsher-Smith sold its generic pharmaceutical business in 2017 for about $1 billion to a Japanese company.

One of state's richest families feuds over $1 billion estate

The five-year legal battle over the Evenstad fortune will culminate in a court ruling later this month, more than a year after testimony in the case concluded.
Liban Alishire, shown here in 2016, pleaded guilty in January to defrauding the federal meals program. The state has revoked the license for Lakes Adu

State revokes licenses of two day-care centers linked to meal program fraud

Department of Human Services officials said they have not completed their investigation of all 50 who have been charged in the meals fraud probe.

John Risdall, ad man who helped create Desert Eagle pistol, dies at 77

Advertising agency founder known among employees, colleagues for generosity, entrepreneurial grit.
Owner of Cambria, Marty Davis, photographed on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 in Le Sueur, Minn. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •

Minnesota businessman Marty Davis met Trump, pushed Meadows to fight 2020 election loss

In texts and a White House meeting, Cambria owner urged Trump to fight outcome, vowed 2024 support, a political news site reported.
Abdul Abubakar Ali pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to the massive Feeding Our Future case Wednesday, Oct. 26, 202

Figures linked to meals fraud case continue to collect millions in daycare support

DHS officials said they are reviewing ties to everyone charged in the probe but added they can't ban anyone from participating in the department's programs based on unrelated fraud allegations.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, left, and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger

Could Minnesota officials have stopped Feeding our Future fraud sooner?

Minnesota's attorney general questions why the federal investigation took so long. But a spokesman said the office could have done more investigating itself.
Clayton Halunen admitted to misconduct with two men.

Twin Cities lawyer faces discipline after sexually harassing 2 employees

Case is raising new questions about the state Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
Larry Allen Nelson

Larry Nelson, co-founder of St. Anthony Main and retailing pioneer, dies at 79

Larry Nelson took an old mattress factory and helped turn it into one of the premiere shopping and dining destinations in the Twin Cities.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding our Future on Jan. 20, 2022.

Timeline of Feeding Our Future investigation

Here are key events in the history of the nonprofit and its indicted director, Aimee Bock.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen and lieutenant governor candidate Matt Birk held a news conference Monday at the State Capitol in St.

Jensen, other GOP hopefuls blast DFL leaders over Feeding Our Future case

Aimee Bock, the executive director of the nonprofit Feeding Our Future, shown in January.

For Feeding Our Future leader, an unlikely path to scandal

Self-professed "rule follower" Aimee Bock has become the face of a $250 million food fraud case
A day of recriminations over the Feeding Our Future scandal ended Friday with Gov. Tim Walz backing away from a call to investigate the judge who pres

Feeding Our Future charges lead to dispute over 2021 case

At issue is a 2021 lawsuit that led the Minnesota Department of Education to resume payments to Feeding Our Future, the nonprofit that federal prosecutors say was used to orchestrate a $250 million scheme to defraud the federal government of money meant to feed poor children.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger shows how one meal provider claimed to feed the same number of children each day, which he said is a red flag for fraud.

How authorities allege Feeding Our Future fraud unfolded

Feeding Our Future, led by founder and executive director Aimee Bock, is accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks from entities in exchange for sponsoring applications for the federal child nutrition program.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger today announced a significant COVID-related fraud case based in Minnesota Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 Minneapolis, Minn. ] GLEN

Feeding Our Future founder among 48 charged in $250M fraud

Prosecutors say co-conspirators falsely claimed to serve 125 million meals around the state, but instead pocketed federal money for lavish personal expenses.
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller faced tough questioning from Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes over the federally fu

GOP senator: Education Department's 'derelictions of duty' led to fraud

His report said department leaders "either did not know how to responsibly manage" the federally funded meals program or "found the faithful execution of those duties burdensome and optional."

Lawsuit: Minnesota Department of Education targeted one nonprofit to help another

Partners in Nutrition, which operates as Partners in Quality Care, claims department regulators have forced most of its meal-providing subcontractors to flee the organization
Able Energy owner Michael J. Harvey was charged by theft by swindle by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Solar installer sentenced to six months for swindling dozens of clients

Michael Harvey, owner of Able Energy, also must repay customers at least $750,000.
School photos of Eli Hart and toy cars, one of his favorite things, were on display during a celebration of life for Eli at the Randolph High School f

Father sues Dakota County for ignoring warning signs that led to son's death

Suit contends workers ignored warning signs that Eli Hart's mother was mentally ill. She was later charged with killing the boy.
Julie Hernandez-Corado topped off her GMC Yukon at Tobies Station in Hinckley this week. “I don’t know how people live,” she said, referring to

Minnesotans face the 'insanity' of gas at nearly $5 per gallon

Heading into the July 4th weekend, drivers are reducing travel and making other changes to deal with record gas prices.
Participants walk with a rainbow Pride flag during the Twin Cities LGBTQ+ Pride March in downtown Minneapolis on Sunday.

During milestone Pride parade, calls for political activism

Democratic leaders say recent developments are alarming and must be matched by political action.

At Twin Cities' 50th Pride parade, calls for political activism

February 17, 1994 Paul Maurer, Director of exhibits at the science Museum of Minnesota, talks about the upcoming Jurassic park exhibit to be on displa

Exhibit director who brought sense of theater to Science Museum, expanded its reach dies at 69

Paul Maurer was a big believer in interactive exhibits.
School photos of Eli Hart and toy cars, one of his favorite things, were on display during a celebration of life for Eli on Saturday at the Randolph,

Allegations tangled custody case of boy found slain in mom's car

Eli Hart's mother won custody of her son despite concerns about her mental health. The case highlights what family law attorneys say is a system that can be manipulated by a parent bent on winning custody at all costs.
Julissa Thaler.

Mental health records sought by lawyer representing woman accused of killing 6-year-old son

Julissa Thaler won custody of son despite recent concerns over mental problems, court records show
Julissa Thaler

Woman charged with shooting 6-year-old son whose body was found in trunk during traffic stop

Minneapolis man is jailed on suspicion of murder related to the boy's death.
Tory Hart, right, and his fiancé Josie Josephson, left, with Hart’s son in the middle. The boy’s mother is now under arrest on suspicion of murde

Father was trying to reclaim custody of boy found slain in trunk in Mound

Family says court battle may have precipitated killing.

Man gravely injured after shooting at home in north Minneapolis

Police are seeking three suspects in shooting that took place Friday night in north Minneapolis.
In this 2021 file photo, tears streamed down Stanley Turner’s face as he learned from court records how much of his payments he has sold.

Gov. Tim Walz signs law addressing settlement abuses

Minnesota is the first state to routinely require an independent advisor to protect the interests of someone who sells a structured settlement.
Daron Korte, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, center, shown in April. Others seated with Korte were, from left, Eric T

Panel reverses state on cutting funding to St. Paul meals provider

Ruling: Education Department acted hastily by booting nonprofit without letting it fix problems
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller faced tough questioning in April from Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, over the fe

Records show meals program was ripe for fraud in Minnesota

Federal audits show that Minnesota's Education Department has been repeatedly cited for lapses since 2012.
Minnesota legislators passed a bill that requires judges to apply more scrutiny to sales of structured settlement payments.

Bill that gives judges more power over settlement deals goes to Walz

The measure gives Minnesota judges new ways to scrutinize the sale of structured settlement payments.
FBI agents seized one of the owners of Empire Market & Cuisine as he attempted to board a flight to Amsterdam at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Ai

Target in federal meals program investigation charged with passport fraud

Agents arrested Mohamed Jama Ismail as he attempted to board an overseas flight.
Daron Korte, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, left, responded to questioning by Sen. Roger Chamberlain on Wednesday. S

Minnesota senator: 'Something failed' with meal program

Sen. Roger Chamberlain says Education Department could have taken stronger action as far back as 2018.
Screenshot from the virtual hearing April 7 for Partners in Quality Care, a St. Paul nonprofit, to appeal the funding suspension from the Minnesota De

St. Paul meal provider appeals state funding suspension

Partners in Nutrition made its case Thursday to an internal appeals panel at the Education Department, hoping to overturn the department's suspension of funding.
Susan Humiston, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, in an appearance before the Minnesota Supreme Court in February 2020.

Supreme Court reappoints director accused of bullying and unprofessional conduct

Court's action takes place despite oversight board's vote against director.
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller faced tough questioning Monday from Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, about the fed

MDE chief defends oversight of federal meals program

Commissioner Heather Mueller was repeatedly chided at a hearing Monday for not sending more inspectors to visit sites sponsored by Feeding Our Future at a time when state officials were concerned over what Mueller called the rapid and "inexplicable" growth of the nonprofit organization.
Mayor Jacob Frey acknowledged that one of his former top advisers passed along information from the executive director to use in a meeting.

Feeding Our Future sought Minneapolis aid with the state

This week, after the city released more than 1,000 pages of internal communications and supporting documents in response to a Star Tribune public records request, Mayor Jacob Frey acknowledged that one of his former top advisers passed along information from the executive director to use in a meeting.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, shown in a file photo, told lawmakers this week that settlement purchasing companies hound people with solic

Minnesota lawmakers advance bills that would crack down on settlement abuses

A trade group partly joined efforts to reform the business of purchasing settlement payments from accident victims.
FILE — A student receives lunch in the cafeteria at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, May 30, 2019. More than 500,000 children woul

Third provider of meals to needy kids is barred from program

Youth Leadership Academy, a newly formed Minneapolis nonprofit, was the top provider in Minnesota of summer meals last year — reporting dishing out 7 million meals.
Minnesota lawmakers are debating ways to rein in the settlement purchasing industry.

Minnesota lawmakers divide over limits on settlement-payment deals

A proposal by Democrats appears to be one of the toughest in the nation, but a key Republican lawmaker says it goes too far.
The FBI has alleged that meal providers sponsored by Minneapolis-based Feeding Our Future were paid tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for food they

Fraud has plagued federal meals program for years

More than $1 billion in "improper payments" have been billed annually, according to U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding our Future on Jan. 20, 2022.

Former Frey aide named in forfeiture suit over alleged fraud in meals program

Federal prosecutors move to seize 14 properties owned by people associated with allegations of misappropriation of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding our Future on Jan. 20, 2022.

Meal distributors in probe have history of legal troubles

Three prime contractors are at the heart of criminal conspiracy, according to the FBI.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding our Future on Jan. 20, 2022.

Minnesota Department of Education seeks to end nutrition contract with second nonprofit

The department wants to terminate its contract with Partners in Quality Care. The St. Paul-based organization plans to appeal.
Susan Humiston, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, appeared before the Minnesota Supreme Court in February 2020.

Lawyer oversight board again tells Minnesota Supreme Court it should replace director

A review board criticized the head of Minnesota's lawyer discipline agency for "uneven" work.
Evidence of last month’s raid at Feeding Our Future could be seen at its St. Anthony offices. FBI investigators have accused the Minnesota nonprofit

Legislators call for audit of Minnesota Department of Education over alleged nonprofit fraud

Four Republican state senators are requesting an audit of the Education Department and its oversight of St. Anthony nonprofit Feeding Our Future.
Aimee Bock, executive director of the nonprofit Feeding Our Future, speaks out Thursday for the first time after accusations that the organization and

Leader of Twin Cities nonprofit raided by FBI defends organization

Aimee Bock of Feeding Our Future said the investigation of her nonprofit is retribution for a lawsuit against the state Department of Education and that she's done nothing wrong.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding our Future on Jan. 20, 2022.

Frey, Osman met with Minn. education officials after it halted payments to Feeding Our Future

Nonprofit is being investigated for fraud; Minneapolis mayor, council member said meeting was about food programs in general.
Betty and Don Cooke of Minnetonka watched a men’s basketball game between the Minnesota Gophers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday at Williams

As omicron surged, Minnesotans adjusted quickly, kept going out

Crowds didn't shrink at public events as much, and businesses didn't see as much of a drop as in previous COVID-19 waves.
Aspirity Energy until around 2016 made money on energy futures and electricity contracts, commodities traded on exchange floors like this one in New Y

Investors criticize former owner, bankruptcy trustee in Aspirity Energy fraud claims

Investors are furious trustee did not pursue litigation against former owner who they believe took millions from failed Minneapolis energy trading firm.
A man, donning a surgical mask, walked through a downtown Minneapolis skyway. Thousands of large Minnesota employers are balancing the emotions of its

With no federal mandate, large Minn. employers consider vaccine requirements

Employers with diverging camps in their workforces — the vaccine hesitant and the exposure averse — will now have to choose their battle.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, shown in a 2019 file photo.

Minnesota chief justice apologizes for strain with board overseeing state's legal-industry watchdog

Supreme Court justices reset limits for the board that reviews the state's Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
Carlson Towers as seen Thursday Dec. 16, 2021 in Minnetonka, Minn.

Pandemic drives Carlson family out of namesake business

The family gave up its stake in Carlson Travel Co. and related businesses as part of a court-approved bankruptcy restructuring.
Susan Humiston, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, testifies at the Minnesota Supreme Court on Feb. 3, 2020.

More leave Minnesota's lawyer disciplinary office amid morale concerns

The state agency director's contract is up for renewal as a former manager calls the office "dysfunctional."
Deirdre Mulvey took a test drive in a used Honda Pilot at Walser Toyota last week. Used car prices are up more than 25% over the last year and dealers

Twin Cities car market battles empty lots, high prices, waits

New-car shortages are pushing prices higher for all vehicles, and dealers are turning to used cars to keep the wheels turning.
Susan Humiston, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, testifies at the Minnesota Supreme Court on Feb. 3, 2020.

Turnover, court intervention roil state agency that oversees lawyers

A rift between the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility's oversight board and the Minnesota Supreme Court now threatens the credibility of the agency charged with upholding integrity within the legal profession.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says the settlement industry needs reform.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison wants to crack down on settlement abuses

AG Keith Ellison wants Minnesota to guarantee that anybody who wants to sell part of their court settlement would be represented by an attorney.
A month's worth of direct mail solicitations received by Kristina Parker to sell her payments from a structured settlement. NOTE: Her name and address

Accident victims hounded to sell their payouts — again and again

Firms go to great lengths to find people who are receiving settlement payments, swamping them with checks, calls and ads even after they've agreed to sell. For these companies, the payoff is high.

Minnesota lawmakers vow to fix 'predatory' accident settlement practices

Accident settlement deals would face new scrutiny under Minnesota reforms.
Albuquerque attorney Matthew Vance, also a court-appointed guardian, says the client-guardian dynamic can be fraught.

Guardians protect financial future of accident victims

In Minnesota, judges routinely approve the sale of payouts. In Albuquerque, N.M., guardians often put on the brakes, and help victims keep more of their money.
Laura Dalluhn — with her mother, Mary Jo — says she was still in a hospital psychiatric unit when a Greenwood Funding representative called her to

Murky laws hobble judges weighing lifechanging deals for accident victims

The final, often reluctant arbiters in settlement buyout cases are given little information about sellers and few rules on companies seeking to buy.