AG Ellison: 70 event organizers contacted over COVID safety rules

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's representatives have contacted more than 70 organizers of large community and political events in recent months, concerned over how they were handling coronavirus safety requirements.

Ellison's office declined to release a list of the events, calling them "non-public investigative data." But an Ellison spokesman says the attorney general has only taken enforcement action against one, a July rodeo in Effie.

One of the inquiries touched off a political spat last week, when Ellison's office contacted a Northfield farm hosting a Republican campaign event featuring President Donald Trump's son Eric.

Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan accused Ellison of an "abuse of power and control." Ellison said his office asked Felton Farms for its COVID preparedness plan and did not try to stop the event.

The events contacted so far include sporting competitions, flea markets, car shows, festivals, campaign events and dog shows, said John Stiles, the Ellison spokesman.

The attorney general's office worked with representatives from the Department of Health and Department of Labor and Industry to make the 70 inquiries, Stiles said.

The Effie rodeo case is still in litigation, he said.