A state investigation has found no evidence to back up the allegation of a former Department of Commerce employee about illegal document destruction.

Former Commerce department deputy commissioner Timothy Vande Hey claimed in a 2016 lawsuit that he was ordered by another official, Deputy Commissioner Anne O’Connor, to destroy department documents. His lawsuit against the department was later withdrawn.

Investigators from the Office of the Legislative Auditor reviewed the matter, at the request of a state lawmakers, and could not substantiate the allegation. However, they noted in a new report released Friday that Vande Hey, who is no longer a state employee, did not cooperate. They were unable to determine key details about the directive and the documents referenced in the lawsuit.

Legislative Auditor James Nobles said O’Connor and the department cooperated fully with the review and presented plausible explanations.

“People have to remember that it is not illegal for state agencies to destroy documents. In fact, there is a legal process laid out in law by which that can be done,” Nobles said. “It may well be that they did destroy documents, but they didn’t violate the law.”

In addition, Vande Hey’s lawsuit alleged the department was not responding properly to data requests from the public. Nobles said his office concluded that responses to public data requests appeared to be reasonable.

Good morning, and happy Friday to you. Here’s the Digest.

1. The Minneapolis City Council is preparing to attach a 5-cent fee to bags at stores in the city. The Legislature passed a law earlier this year preventing the city from banning plastic bags, and the measure is designed to make shoppers bring their own bags. From this story about the proposed ordinance: It requires retailers to collect a fee for any bags they provide to customers, including plastic, paper, compostable and reusable bags. There are exceptions, including bags used to package bulk grocery items, dry-cleaning bags and bags used for carryout at restaurants. Customers who use public assistance to buy food won’t have to pay the fee. (Star Tribune)

2. Minnesota’s minimum wage for most employers will rise by 15 cents an hour in January. This is the first time that Minnesota’s minimum wage will rise automatically to keep in line with inflation. It stems from a law change in 2014. The floor wage for large employers will rise to $9.65 per hour from $9.50 now. Smaller employers with revenues below $500,000 per year will be required to pay employees at least $7.87 an hour. That’s also the minimum youth and training wages starting next year. (MPR News)

3. The final environmental impact statement for Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project says all proposed paths would all have disproportionately negative effects on American Indians in the state. The report compiled by the state Department of Commerce does not make a recommendation on which route is best for the $2.9 billion project that is proposed to replace a pipeline that runs from northwestern Minnesota to Superior, Wis. The report doesn’t say which is the best choice of the company’s proposed route and four alternatives. (Star Tribune)

4Leaders of the South Washington County Schools apologized Thursday for a massive, accidental release of private student information sent out in an email attachment Wednesday from the district’s transportation department. The attachment contains names, grades, identification numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, bus routes, pick up and drop-off times, pick up and drop-off locations, and schools of attendance for some 9,000 students. “Some of the information is classified as private educational data and should not have been sent to the parents of other students in the district,” Superintendent Keith Jacobus told parents in a letter. He described it as an employee error. (MPR News)

5. Republican congressman Erik Paulsen is trying to build support for an overhaul of the U.S. tax code. Paulsen and colleague U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said that they expect by the end of the year to send President Trump a major tax bill that he will sign. It will lower tax rates for families and businesses, they said, and also make the tax code simpler. But it’s a big job, and there are a lot of hurdles in the way of getting it done. (Star Tribune)

Good morning, and welcome to Thursday. Here’s the Digest.

1. President Trump Wednesday disbanded his Manufacturing Advisory Council. The move came shortly after 3M CEO Inge Thulin announced he was quitting the panel, following other prominent CEOs in the wake of Trump’s response to a violent weekend white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. “Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision,” Inge said in a statement released by the companyWednesday morning. “I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth — in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people,” he added. “After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.” (MPR News)

2. On Saturday, a 61-year-old Willmar man allegedly used a pig’s foot to taunt a group of Somali people who were selling goods at a farmers market. Two days later, Regina Mustafa, a congressional candidate from Rochester, received a religiously motivated death threat online. These most recent incidents follow what have become almost weekly events in the state. Anti-Muslim hate crimes are rising sharply this year in the state, according to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-MN. (MPR News)

3.  The FBI said Wednesday that it is offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone responsible for the bombing of a Bloomington mosque this month. The bureau’s Minneapolis division has been investigating the Aug. 5 explosion at the Dar Al Farooq Community Center. In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, the FBI said the new reward is unrelated to those offered by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the local Muslim American Society. (Star Tribune)

4. The University of Minnesota followed both the law and its own policy when it suspended 10 Gopher football players following allegations of sexual assault last fall, a review by two outside attorneys has found. The report, released Wednesday, blamed much of the turmoil surrounding the high-profile case on “weak leadership” of the coaching staff and the influence of unnamed “third parties.” Those factors, the report said, contributed to a “breakdown in trust” between the football team and university administrators, and “helped foster a hostile atmosphere where meaningful dialogue was difficult.” (Star Tribune)

5. The home of St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter III was burglarized Tuesday, and police have yet to make any arrests. Carter’s home was hit by a daylight break-in while the candidate was on the way to listen to Mayor Chris Coleman’s budget speech.  The burglar apparently took electronics, household items, and a secured lock box containing two handguns. “The experience of a home invasion is a traumatic one for myself and my family, especially my children,” Carter said. “We are processing this as a family, and that is my entire focus at this time. I am grateful to be surrounded by concerned neighbors who look out for each other’s safety and security, and I deeply appreciate the thorough investigation by the Saint Paul police officers who responded to the call.” (Pioneer Press)