State Senator David Tomassoni's (DFL-Chisholm), confirmed today he will "remain accessible" to the board of the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) despite previously claiming he would be taking a take a leave of absence during the legislative session.

Tomassoni offered new comments about his position with RAMS in response to questions about a memorandum from Tomassoni that was posted on the city of Ely's website which discusses upcoming meetings for the association.

Tomassoni had previously made public statements that he would not be starting his job with RAMS until after the legislative session. Tomassoni's employment agreement with RAMS also states that he "will take a leave of absence" during the legislative session.

While Tomassoni repeated his assertion that he will not be paid during his leave of absence, the decision to "remain accessible" to the RAMS board triggered quick criticism from a member of the Minnesota Senate.

State Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) said, "Senator Tomassoni has defended his position with RAMS in part by declaring that he is on leave of absence until the end of the Legislative Session." But Thompson added that Tomassoni "remains active in the organization and admits that he will remain 'accessible' during the Session."

Thompson previously called on Tomassoni to should request an advisory opinion from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board to determine if Tomassoni is a "de facto lobbyist" for RAMS.