Hodges Appears in Court

Photo by Tony Webster. (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has landed in hot water after being sued for violating the city charter.

As reported by Alpha News earlier this week, Hodges was sued by Carol Becker, a member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

Becker said Hodges was expected to present a budget by August 15 per the city charter, instead of September 12 – almost a month later. Ultimately, Becker argues since the budget presentation happens a day before a public hearing on the property tax levy, people don’t have enough time to really peruse the plan before the hearing.

Hodges was ordered to release the budget or release why she cannot release the budget.

As Alpha News reported, Hodges included a 5.5 percent increase in property taxes as part of her 2018 budget for the city of Minneapolis.

KSTP reports Hodges will appear in court on Friday to defend her actions.

Hodges has already tried by stating the shooting of Justine Damond, the explosion at Minnehaha Academy, and the process of getting a new police chief has prevented her from finalizing the budget according to KSTP.

However, Hodges faced serious backlash when reports surfaced that she attended a campaign fundraising event in Los Angeles during the crux of the Justine Damond case.

Responding defensively, Hodges confirms that she did attend a campaign fundraiser in her honor during the Damond case.

My opponents have been shopping to news outlets that I held a fundraiser for my campaign in July,” Hodges wrote in a Facebook post. “They’re right. I did. I traveled overnight to Los Angeles for an event held on July 19. During the 27 total hours that I was traveling, I spent most my time dealing with the aftermath of the terrible shooting of Justine Damond, just as I had almost every moment since the shooting happened. I had been ready and willing to cancel my flight, and only that morning made the decision that my physical presence in Minneapolis was not required for this brief period. While traveling, I spoke with neighbors, City Council members, school district officials, and community leaders, including in the East African community. I worked with my staff and the police to coordinate communications with our residents and the public. I communicated with command staff of the Police Department. I checked in on the process for filing complaints against police officers. That’s what a tough, tested leader does in a crisis. In other words, I did exactly the same work I would have done had I stayed in Minneapolis. And during those 27 hours, I also spent a few hours at a campaign event.”

Hodges went on to attack her opponents, specifically calling out Tom Hoch for loaning himself funds for his campaign. “One of my opponents has cynically exploited a campaign-finance loophole to give himself an unethical, $177,000 head start,” Hodges writes in the post.

As Alpha News reported, Hodges personally asked for the resignation of former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau after criticisms arose over Harteau remaining for four days on vacation after the shooting occurred.  

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.