Pioneer Press stands by report about two St. Paul officials' romance

Photos of Hahm (left) and Brendmoen (right) via city of St. Paul
"I make policy decisions based solely on what I believe is in the best interest of the citizens of the ward, and of the city," Brendmoen told the PiPress.
Last week, the Pioneer Press published a report entitled, "Romance between St. Paul officials bothers some people."

The piece is about the relationship between City Council member Amy Brendmoen and Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm. It raises questions about how their romance, which they haven't tried to keep secret, could potentially impact decisions made by city officials.

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"Funding for parks, playgrounds and rec centers is always a politically sensitive issue in St. Paul, where many centers have lost staffing or have been leased out to private nonprofits for management," the piece says, noting that park funding decisions are the purview of the City Council.

Nonetheless, the report, written by Frederick Melo, raised some eyebrows: We asked the "Why is this news?" question to Melo himself.

"This was a piece about transparency in government," Melo wrote to us. "The public can make up its own mind as to whether these are trifling issues or serious concerns. But we were asked to explore the question by readers, so we did, without condemnation or denial."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

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