Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
Financial Audit Division

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Report Summary
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
Investigation: Use of Contact Information

 

Financial Audit Division Report 08-01 Released January 8, 2008

Conclusions:

  • Secretary of State Mark Ritchie did not misuse state resources when he organized civic education events and collected contact information from the participants. The events were appropriate activities of the Secretary of State’s office, and the contact information fulfilled a public purpose.
  • Secretary of State Mark Ritchie did not violate Minnesota law when he provided the contact information to his campaign since the information is "public data" under Minnesota law.
  • Secretary of State Mark Ritchie did not fulfill his legal obligation to make a full and timely response to a request for information from the Legislative Auditor.
   Background:

The Office of the Legislative Auditor investigated an allegation that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie improperly used information gathered through the Secretary of State’s civic education and engagement initiative. The complaint alleged that Mr. Ritchie "used his capacity as Secretary of State to collect information from prospective donors and transferred that information to his campaign."

Our investigation involved a review of documents and interviews under oath with Secretary of State Ritchie and three members of his staff.

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155