Commission Meeting MINUTES of Monday, August 20, 2012

Minneapolis City Hall, Martin Luther King, Jr. Conference Room - 241

350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, MN




6:08 PM, Call to Order and Roll Call



Commissioners in Attendance: Thomas Gallagher, Emily Froehle, Lonnie Nichols, Terrance Noble, Patricia Nelson, Michelle Monteiro, Jennifer Thompson, Surya Rochel, John Oberreuter, Bernadette Casey, Adosh Unni, Peter Larsen, Marla Khan, G. Christine Peters


Commissioners Absent: Danielle Shelton Walczak, Michael McHugh, Kenneth Fukuda, Cecelia Rodriguez-Melendez, Wendy Adler Robinson


City Staff: Carol Bachun, Lee Zutz, Johnnie Burns, Michael Browne, Sherman Patterson


Guest(s): Sonja Peterson


Approval July 16, 2012 MCCR minutes; Moved by Froehle as amended to correct attendance list, approved by consensus with Larsen, Rochel, Casey and Nichols abstaining.


Michael Browne, Assistant Civil Rights Director, announces that August will be his last meeting as Senior Staff advisor to the Commission and Complaint Investigations Unit (CIU).  In September, Senior Staff Toni Newborn will lead the CIU and begin providing monthly reports to the commission.  Lee Zutz will continue to serve as staff liaison to the Commission.  Michael Browne will be assigned as Senior Department Staff to the Civilian Review Authority.


AD Browne provides a mid-year summary of the Commissioner’s Update Brief (CUB).  As of August 20, 2012, there were 125 case files pending resolution with the department.  There were 66 cases 0-6 months of age, 26 cases in the 6-12 months age and three (3) cases older than 12 months; with 30 cases in mediation.  Any case over 365 days old is deemed to be in the backlog.  There are eight (8) current cases under review by the Commission: one (1) Probable Cause (PC); three (3) No Probable Cause (NPC) and four (4) Dismissals.

AD Browne indicates that the Department’s Community Outreach Plan includes three main points: Meeting with Leadership; Train Staff; and, Community filing days.  Regarding Ordinance updates, AD Browne confirms that the existing Commissioners’ appointment terms will change from a termination date of August 31 to a term ending on December 31 (in other words, the term will be extended by 4 months).




Chair Froehle moves approval of meeting agenda; approved by consensus, no objections.


Chair Froehle moves that the September MCCR meeting is changed from the third Hashanah; approved by consensus with discussion, no objections.  The Commission Executive Committee meeting will remain on September 10th.


Commission on Civil Rights Committee Reports:

Contract Compliance – Did not meet, but Senior Department staff Johnnie Burns contributes that the Department is currently monitoring $268 Million of active contract awards.  Burns adds that the City is currently being sued for rejecting a contract bid.


Standards and Procedures: Commissioner Gallagher indicates that S&P reviewed a Pre-Hearing Statement for a Probable Cause Hearing.  S&P will next meet in October.


Public Relations and Education: Commissioner Khan circulates a sign up list for Commissioners to select Schools to visit and provide packets for the MLK Essay Award.  Commissioner Khan shares that Jacob Frey was the winner of the MLK Community Service Award and that presentation of the award is tentatively scheduled for the September 24, 2012, MCCR meeting.


Commissioner Unni introduces Assistant City Bachun who presents findings on the Commission hosting a fundraising event(s) on behalf of Minnesotans United for All Families.  In summary, Bachun found that while strictly receiving and sharing information could fall within the purview of the Commission; that assistance with fundraising to support the operations and purpose of Minnesotans United for All Families could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest in future proceedings of the commission.  Commissioners, as private individuals, are free to advocate and fundraise for causes and events that they support.  Discussion concludes with Secretary Nichols moving and the commission approving by consensus to receive the findings and verbal report of Assistant City Attorney Bachun.


Commission Chair report: Froehle affirms that the schedule for the Appeals Committee for September is Fukuda, Rochel, and Nichols with alternate Noble.  Froehle encourages Commissioners to start thinking about notifying people to apply for open seats on the MCCR, and shares that one Council Member will a public forum on Open Commission Seats on August 29, 2012.


Public Comment: Sonja Peterson invites interested parties to contact Minnesotans United for All Families to assist with the Phone Bank and to share information on proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage in Minnesota.  Peterson distributes “I will vote NO on Nov. 6!” postcards.


Adjournment at 7:05 PM, Thompson moved, Unni second, approved.



Last updated Sep 28, 2012



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