stone. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison became at times cranky and frustrated during a radio interview Tuesday about the Feeding Our Future investigation.
Local nonprofits defrauded $250 million from federally funded child nutrition programs, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. At least 48 people face federal charges related to the nonprofit.
After the charges were filed last week, the governor. Tim Walz, Ellison and other state officials have been charged with permitting massive fraud.
In an interview with Vineeta Sawkar at AM 830, Ellison was asked when he and Walz began to suspect that Feeding Our Future was fraudulent.
“What is the timeline?” Sokal asked.
“Well, ma’am, here comes the question. [Republicans] Trying to get me to say what is legally, morally forbidden to say,” Ellison responded. “It’s called attorney-client privilege,” he added, before saying “there’s nothing wrong here. “
Ellison later stumbles when Sawkwar asks him why Walz falsely said his board of education would face jail if she didn’t pay for Feeding Our Future.
“For two years, Ellison’s Office of the Attorney General has held accountable for ‘feeding our future,'” John Stiles, deputy director and spokesman for Ellison’s office, said in a statement.
“Earlier, the Attorney General’s Office worked side-by-side with MDE to flag evidence of fraud, ask Feeding Our Future to make corrections, defend MDE from Feeding Our Future’s vile lawsuit – and most importantly, submit evidence of criminal fraud to The FBI, which led directly to federal criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions of Feed Our Future fraud. Attorney General Ellison’s office also used its civil charity enforcement powers to investigate violations of state charity laws and to ensure that courts were overseeing its dissolution, so that it can “not misuse any of its remaining assets. “
Ellison said the Minnesota Department of Education and the Attorney General’s Office spearheaded the federal criminal investigation and 48 federal indictments. “Without their efforts, there would be no criminal investigation or prosecution,” his office said.
Meanwhile, Ellison is a political opponent in November. Election 8 — Jim Schultz — criticized his handling of “feeding our future.”
Also read: Judge says Walz lied about feeding our future, department.or Ed responds