ST. PAUL (AP) -- The allegations driving an investigation of Minnesota's top military official will be revealed when he leaves office Aug. 8 or possibly earlier, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top aide said Thursday.
Chief of staff Charlie Weaver said the information would be released when Maj. Gen. Eugene Andreotti is considered retired. Weaver added that the administration has asked Attorney General Mike Hatch whether Andreotti should be considered "retired" as of Wednesday, when he announced his intention to retire, or on the day he leaves office.
"The governor intends to release the data as soon as we are legally able to," Weaver said. He said he expected that decision to be made Friday.
Pawlenty said more than one complaint has been lodged and Weaver termed the allegation "serious," adding that the retirement would not end the investigation.
Pawlenty also said a search is already under way for a successor to Andreotti as chief of the 12,500-member Minnesota National Guard. Andreotti had served under four governors since he was appointed in 1988.
If Pawlenty doesn't pick an interim replacement by Aug. 8, Brig. Gen. Harry Sieben Jr. would be made acting leader, Weaver said. He has been assistant adjutant general since 1997. Sieben, a former DFL legislator nicknamed "Tex," was Minnesota House speaker for two years in the early 1980s.
The adjutant general serves as the governor's military chief of staff and leads the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard.
The governor would not give details about the complaints, which are being investigated by the state Department of Employee Relations. He said the investigation began shortly after he took office and should take a few months.
"Complaints have been made," Pawlenty told reporters. "Our office, our administration initiated the investigation some months ago. The investigation is still open and pending. And we can't say more at this time on the advice of the attorney general."
Hatch spokeswoman Leslie Sandberg said in a statement that investigations of agency heads are public unless their disclosure would jeopardize another investigation.
Employee Relations Commissioner Cal Ludeman said the complaints first came to the governor's office, which forwarded them to his office sometime after he was appointed Jan. 13. He declined to be more specific.
Andreotti declined an interview request Thursday.
Ludeman said he didn't know how long the investigation would take but said Andreotti's impending retirement doesn't affect it.
Pawlenty declined to speculate on what might happen after the investigation.
"It depends on what the investigation concludes," he said. "This potentially involves military authority, it potentially involves state law, it potentially involves federal considerations as well."
Andreotti, 60, has been adjutant general since Gov. Rudy Perpich appointed him in 1988. But changes in state law limit his successor's term to seven years. The adjutant general needs to be a commissioned officer of the National Guard with at least a decade of military service. That leaves a large pool of potential candidates.
Among those who meet those qualifications is state Sen. Dean Johnson, a Willmar DFLer who is a brigadier general in the Minnesota Army National Guard, where he serves as special assistant to the Army National Guard chief of chaplains.
Johnson, a Lutheran minister, said Thursday he hadn't decided if he'd seek the post, but he had lost a lot of sleep the night before thinking about it.
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