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Updated: Board finalizes Dakota County CDA executive director's termination

The Dakota County Community Development Agency Board has formally terminated longtime executive director Mark Ulfers. The board, which consists of the Dakota County Commissioners, finalized the decision during a special meeting May 12.

The board notified Ulfers in March that his contract with the CDA would be terminated in 60 days. After a lengthy discussion Tuesday, the board voted 6-1 to finalize his termination. Kathleen Gaylord was the dissenting vote.

Board chair Mike Slavik sent a letter certified mail to Ulfers March 3 specifying the reasons for the termination including:

  • Unwanted sexual and romantic advances toward CDA staff.
  • Treating CDA staff differently based on gender
  • Making inappropriate gender and age-based comments.
  • Creating a hostile work environment.
  • Retaliating against CDA staff for participating in past and present workplace investigations about Ulfers.

“It is alleged that you have consciously and voluntarily engaged in conduct that shows a lack of even slight care and exhibits reckless disregard of consequences,” stated Slavik in the letter.

The letter also accuses Ulfers of misrepresenting information to the CDA board. Specifically, the letter states that Ulfers misrepresented the circumstances around a director-level employee’s decision to voluntarily leave the CDA.

Ulfers has been with the CDA since 1977. He has served as the executive director since 1986, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ulfers was not present at the May 12 meeting for the decision.

At the time of his termination, Ulfers was receiving a salary of $161,250. CDA Director of Communications Sara Swenson said the board has made no decisions on parting compensation for Ulfers. 

Deputy Executive Director Kari Gill has worked as the acting executive director since March. Swenson said the board has made no decisions on how to handle the vacancy as of yet.

The Dakota County CDA administers 30 programs including workforce and senior housing services. The CDA has purchased property in downtown Rosemount to construct a new affordable senior housing development. Construction is slated to begin in June. The CDA also operates a senior housing facility in Farmington.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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