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Minn. senator says lawsuit unrelated to his duties

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A state senator who's accused of failing to repay a Small Business Administration loan said Monday the case is not related to his legislative duties.

The SBA sued Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, in federal court Friday, saying he and his wife, Cynthia, signed for the $613,000 loan in 2009, but stopped making their $7,589-a-month payments 18 months later, and now owe more than $748,000 in principal and other costs.

The Nienows took out the loan for the National Camp Association Inc., a business they founded and said was aimed at helping parents find camps for their children. The association, which listed their home as its address, was dissolved in 2012, according to records filed with the Secretary of State's Office.

"I have not yet received a copy of the legal filing in question, but it is clearly not related at all to any of my Minnesota Legislative duties," Niewnow said in a statement. "As with all pending actions of this sort, discussion of any details cannot take place until it is fully resolved."

While Nienow said it wasn't related to his legislative duties, he issued the statement on his Senate letterhead.

Nienow is considered a fiscal conservative and lists his occupation as a consultant. His district includes Isanti and Chisago counties. He served in the Senate from 2003 through 2006 but wasn't re-elected. He won back the seat in 2010 and won again in 2012.

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