St. Paul fights state takeover of inspections

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The state of Minnesota says it’s taking over health inspections of restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and pools in St. Paul due to concerns about the city’s inspection program.

But St. Paul officials are seeking a court order to block the state departments of Health and Agriculture from taking over July 9.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/121dM7C) the city got a letter from Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger on Monday, saying St. Paul lacks “internal controls to ensure the public’s health is being protected.” Among other things, the state says the city’s inspection program submitted incomplete reports.

City Safety and Inspections Director Ricardo Cervantes says his department was understaffed. He says he’s hired more inspectors and is improving issues of concern. The state says the improvements haven’t happened fast enough.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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