A Letter from a Concerned and MPHA Resident to the Star Tribune Regarding Greg Russ’ Blatant Conflict of Interest

Dear Allies:

Please read this letter that was sent to Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, a reporter from the Star Tribune, from a concerned and MPHA resident regarding a profile Mr. Ibrahim published about Greg Russ’ plans to privatize  public housing building/ homes by using  the low- income housing tax credits and RAD.

Over 11,000 low-income residents, majority people of color, Black, Black Muslims (East Africans), refugees, immigrant, seniors, elders and people with disabilities will be displaced if Russ’ plans succeed, while over 17,000 are on a waiting list that is 7 years long.

This letter exposes for the first time why Greg Russ is working so hard to displace public housing residents. This letter states that Russ’ family own and manage one Thies & Talle Inc, one of the largest owners of federally subsidized low-income and tax credit properties in Minnesota.  Laura Russ, Greg Russ’s wife is an officer/ owner of this company.  Her father (and Greg Russ’s father-in law) Kenneth Talle is the president and co-founder of the company. This letter asks the reporter, Mukhtar M. Ibrahim,  why he did not mention this information in the  article as it demonstrates a blatant conflict of interest. This letter was cc’d to Mayor Frey, City Council, HUD, Homeline, DGPHC, and MPHA Board Chair  F. Clayton Tyler.
DG&PHC has done independent research to verify the claims made in this letter. We have found evidence that Greg Russ and Laura Russ are married. In addition, attached is an on-line resume from Laura Russ (from sometime after 2013) that places her in Chicago and Cambridge at the same time Greg Russ was working there (Laura Russ Resume). We can also confirm that Thies and Talle own dozens of apartment complexes in the region, including one building in Minneapolis, and at least one Project-Based Section 8 building in Saint Paul. Greg Russ wants to transfer all public housing in Minneapolis to private ownership through Project-Based Section 8.
We want to thank the person who wrote this letter for  speaking truth to power.  The question is when will this corruption stop at MPHA and City Hall?