|Public Release Date: April 28, 1994||No. 94-16|
The World Trade Center Corporation is to promote and market the Minnesota World Trade Center and to sponsor conferences or promotional events in the conference and service center. From 1987 to 1993, the policy of the corporation was determined by a board of 15 members. Since July 1, 1993, it has been governed by a 12 member board of directors. Richard Nolan served as the corporation president until June 30, 1993. The current president, George Crolick, Jr. is employed by the Department of Trade and Economic Development.
The World Trade Center Corporation faces severe financial difficulties in continuing operations through June 30, 1995. Even with a $111,000 legislative appropriation the corporation is currently seeking, the financial viability of the corporation remains in doubt. Another effect is that the corporation is not placing in escrow amounts to make payments on an equipment lease purchase agreement.
World Medical Exposition
Prior management made questionable use of the world medical exposition appropriation. Unrelated payments have been made out of the account and to date no world medical exposition has been held. Currently, the management of the World Trade Center Corporation is pursuing the possibility of holding a smaller conference in October 1994. Prior management also used proceeds from a City of St. Paul loan to temporarily finance activity not authorized by the loan agreement.
The World Trade Center Corporation appropriately processed its payroll through the statewide payroll system. Severance payments to former employees were proper, with the exception of a compensatory amount of $639 paid to the former president.
Current management responded to our report and virtually agreed with our assessment of the situation.