Updated: 12/03/2013 6:16 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirms it is investigating a potentially threatening call made to a Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) employee.
The call came Wednesday night shortly after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS story about questionable spending of taxpayers' money by a top DHS official. The whistleblower told investigators Assistant DHS Commissioner Scott Leitz approved a deal that gave Fairview's Amplatz Children's Hospital extra Medicaid money it might not be entitled to receive.
The whistleblower went to Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, filing a complaint detailing the agreement between Leitz and Amplatz. DHS then launched an internal investigation. That investigation was critical of Leitz's actions on behalf of Amplatz.
After we aired a follow up story Wednesday night, the whistleblower told investigators he received a threatening phone call at home. The call, he says, actually came from his own office at DHS late at night. DPS officials confirm they have opened an investigation but cannot comment further while it is an active investigation.
The whistleblower says the caller simply said "you are marked" and hung up.
Twin Cities Attorney Marshall Tanick has handled dozens of whistleblower cases and he says "this will probably be investigated as a terroristic threat, which can be very serious." But, Tanick says, even though the State's whistleblower law was strengthened this year, it would probably not apply in this case because whistleblower complaints are handled as civil cases, not criminal.
DHS issued a statement saying it "cannot comment on this incident at this time but thoroughly investigates complaints."