EGF Development Director's Job Goes Before Council - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

EGF Development Director's Job Goes Before Council

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  The fate of East Grand Forks Economic Director, Jim Richter’s job may be decided tomorrow at a special meeting of the City Council.

  Richter was put on administrative leave, following the discovery of a half a million dollar City loan that was never repaid. Plus, he also signed off on a deal that will likely raise some eyebrows.

  An investment group that took out a 500-thousand dollar loan from the City to purchase the Boardwalk Building, never repaid the City. They were supposed to start paying 30-thousand dollars a year in 2003 in a deal put together with Economic Development Director, Jim Richter.

  The City is now negotiating payback terms with the group. In the meantime, Jim Richter has been put on Administrative Leave.

  On Tuesday, the City Council may decide the future of Richter’s job.

David Murphy, East Grand Forks City Administrator: “I cannot comment on that. That will be a closed, personnel committee meeting.”

Reporter: “But, we’re talking performance issues?”

Murphy: “Correct. That I can say.”

  I’ve also uncovered another Jim Richter deal that at the very least, raises some eyebrows.

  Richter did a deal in 2010 to sell this 2.7 acre lot, where this new, 385-thousand dollar home sits for what looks like a very, good deal.

  County records show the lot was sold for one-thousand dollars. Today, just four years later that same lot is valued at 33-thousand dollars.

  The deal was signed by Jim Richter.  

David Murphy, East Grand Forks City Administrator: “I was just recently made aware of it. I did an initial review of it but not anything in depth. What I will say from what I’ve seen, it looks like all the channels were followed.”

  Murphy won’t talk specifics whether that deal will also be a part of Richter’s job performance review on Tuesday.

  The Economic Development and Housing Authority, along with the City Council will meet behind closed doors at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. If the City Council decides to take any action against Richter, that part of the meeting will be public. We’ll have their decision as soon as it’s available.  

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