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Patrick Wolfgram Joins MDE as Inspector General (9/15/23)

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announces Patrick Wolfgram is serving as the agency’s first Inspector General.

As part of the 2023 legislative session, Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature established the Office of the Inspector General at MDE, providing authority for MDE to investigate and report.

As Inspector General, Wolfgram will be responsible for protecting Minnesota taxpayers and the agency against fraud, waste and abuse by ensuring programs, operations and grants administered at the agency are carried out with integrity and fidelity to the law. Wolfgram will also be charged with ensuring that all necessary enforcement activities are undertaken by MDE or referred to the appropriate state or federal investigatory body. The Inspector General will report to MDE Commissioner Willie Jett, but the office will remain independent from agency leadership.

Wolfgram is a licensed peace officer and a former Army National Guard member. He has a long history of investigatory experience. He comes to MDE from the Minnesota State Lottery, where he most recently served as Senior Investigator and helped the Lottery to develop and implement strategies to detect and deter fraud and abuse and ensure the integrity and security of the lottery system.

“Inspector General Wolfgram brings years of law enforcement and investigatory experience to the role, and I am pleased to welcome him to the Minnesota Department of Education,” said Commissioner Willie Jett. “The Office of the Inspector General gives MDE the authority for the proper oversight that is critical to ensure all our programs are administered with integrity for the students and people of Minnesota.”

Prior to joining the Lottery, Wolfgram served as an Investigator and Director of Continuity of Government and Operations at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and as Senior Manager of the Protective Operations and Investigative Services team in the General Counsel’s Office at Ameriprise Financial.

Wolfgram graduated from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in police science as well as a master's degree in public safety administration. He is a certified emergency manager and licensed peace officer in Minnesota and South Dakota. 

Members of the public can report instances of potential fraud, waste or abuse of public funds administered by MDE to the Office of the Inspector General at or by using the toll-free tip line at 833-819-8090.

The Minnesota Department of Education provides an excellent education for Minnesota students by striving for excellence, equity and opportunity. The agency focuses on closing the achievement gap, supporting high-quality teaching, using innovative strategies to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring all students graduate from high school well-prepared for college, career and life. The Minnesota Department of Education develops, builds and maintains collaborative relationships with schools, districts, libraries and other stakeholders through a wide variety of advisory boards, councils and committees.