State agency eliminates position formerly held by Joe Radinovich


EVELETH, MN– For the last few months, controversy has been surrounding the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

“It’s unfortunate. It kind of gives a black eye to the Range,” said Representative Julie Sandstede.

Back in March, the IRRRB allegedly gave Joe Radinovich a permanent, six-figure salary position, skirting normal hiring protocols, and causing Gov. Tim Walz to reprimand the controversial hiring decision.

“We tried to do this a different way and obviously it blew up,” said Mark Phillips, IRRRB commissioner.

Radinovich did resign from the position in late April following media reports.

“I feel actually a little bit frustrated for Joe. He didn’t hire himself and he was really caught in a bad circumstance,” said Sandstede.

The position was created to be a liaison between the agency and the legislature.

“Because Joe didn’t stay on, I did it myself or Deputy Commissioner Metsa and I have to kind of tag team it,” said Phillips.

Now, the agency is looking to approach the board in a year to possibly fill the position in a more transparent way.

“You don’t start with the person and build the job around that person. You start with the needs of the agency, build the position description, and put it out there in a very transparent process that really makes it available to internal candidates, external candidates, and brings the best talent to the agency,” said Representative Sandy Layman.

“Posting positions. Having them posted for a defined amount of time. Longer than 24 hours,” said Sandstede

And classifying the job as a temporary one.

“What I would propose is something that would only be in place as long as I was commissioner, or as long as Walz was governor,” said Phillips.

To ensure the outcome will be different moving forward.

“It was a learning experience I think, and we got through it and we’re gonna move forward. And like I said meet the governors’ expectations moving forward,” said Phillips.

CeCe Gaines

CeCe Gaines

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