Lawsuit: Not so fast, St. Paul, Saints

A well-known construction law firm, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and the one-time chairman of the St. Paul Republican party have filed a lawsuit to block the award of the design-build contract for the new St. Paul Saints stadium to Ryan Construction in Minneapolis.

Fabyanski, Westra, Hart and Thomson is the same lawfirm that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority hired to handle its bidding and legal needs in the runup to the groundbreaking for the new Vikings stadium. But now they’re challenging the City of St. Paul’s award of the construction contract for its  $47 million Lowertown ballpark to Ryan.

The lawsuit says the project wasn’t fairly bid out. It says the lack of notice and competitive bid contributes to “undermining the integrity of the public procurement system.”

Taxpayer’s League president Phil Krinkie and former city GOP chair Greg Copeland were vocal critics of public stadiums in the runup to the Vikings stadium legislation last year — Krinkie’s group campaigned against the stadium in Minneapolis with an effort to block approval by the City Council there. Copeland threatened a petition drive against Ramsey County if they tried to institute a sales or other tax to pay for part of a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills.

City officials say they think they’re on firm legal ground with their bidding process. It looks like they’ll get to tell that to a judge.

Here’s the suit:

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