A reappointment that is a mistake

Velma Korbel to again head Dept. of Civil Rights



Velma Korbel’s reappointment by newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges to continue as Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) director is a huge mistake that nonetheless exposes the city culture we have long reported: that city government, regardless of who is in charge, is a culture opposed to diversity (the silence on this by the DFL, churches, foundations, and Black nonprofits places them in the same culture). Shamefully, leading Black organizations participate in this culture as they compete for their share of the spoils at the expense of those they are supposed to serve and represent.

Velma Korbel’s reappointment continues a departmental disaster going back through two permanent directors and one interim director. The African American community will continue to be ill served as seen by the 99 percent White work force of the Vikings stadium.

Last week the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an investigative report on former regulatory services director Rocco Forte, former Chief of the Fire Department. Reporting that he served with distinction and effectiveness, it then incorrectly reported that he was a bully and disgrace to his position of authority.

For the Star Tribune to be accurate, it must report the biggest bully and the department producing the most law suits costing tax payers money: Velma Korbel and her Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). A local weekly paper, City Pages, last November, reported on the bullying and discrimination within the MDCR.

Although ineffective in fighting for diversity, she is highly effective in fighting against diversity, hence her reappointment. She will gladly massage stadium work force numbers (people working categorized by race and gender). The MDCR expects a significant payday from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for assisting in developing bogus numbers.

The MDCR demonstrated for the Twins Ball Park Authority that they could help further Chicago-style corruption in Minneapolis. Consequently, with the exception of two contracts awarded to African American firms, the kickbacks went to majority firms as part of their “arrangement” from which the African American community was excluded.

The same is true regarding the construction of the University of Minnesota’s TCF Gopher’s stadium: African Americans excluded. Ted Mondale admitted the lack of diversity for the Twins stadium. He pledged it wouldn’t happen with the Vikings stadium.

Yet he continues it. A former African American MDCR director bragged Minneapolis could meet minority hiring requirements without having to hire a single Black person. The laws suits settled or currently in litigation involving the MDCR under Velma Korbel are smoking guns, including the cases of the late Marvin Taylor, the late Lauren Marker, and former compliance director, Ronald Brandon.

Diversity is a sham in the MDCR, as it shreds evidence and documentation, especially regarding the Twins Stadium. This is a disturbing pattern and practice of corruption that continues the falsification of information pertaining to compliance on the Twins stadium, which has strategically positioned Mr. Tittle to help facilitate a second round of falsified numbers about the Vikings stadium. Watch for falsified existence of personnel and falsified compliance of the goals set by Kevin Lindsay, Minnesota Commissioner of Human Rights.

Mayor Hodges and her new administration know of the MDCR musical chairs and obviously believe they can continue this practice with impunity. Looking back: for two years many scoffed at my reporting that Star Tribune land was all part of the Grand Stadium Deal, and that it, too would also exclude Black Americans.

Deny no longer: Star Tribune headline, Feb. 11, 2014: “Star Tribune land sold to Ryan [AND] stadium authority.” Why? For their “proposed $400 million project next to the new Vikings stadium.”

Stay tuned.


For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

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