ST. PAUL (AP) — At a public hearing on a proposal that would give a South Dakota-based company control over Fairview Health Services, the University of Minnesota announced it would suspend talks with donors linked to the deal.

Sanford Health of Sioux Falls, S.D., has proposed acquiring Fairview Health Services and the University of Minnesota's medical center.

Sanford Health was launched by T. Denny Sanford, a wealthy university alumnus who has been courted for donations to the Gophers' athletic fund.

The moratorium would cover any potential gifts from Sanford — to assure Minnesotans that merger talks won't be tainted.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson welcomed the moratorium. She says Minnesota taxpayers have a major stake in the future of the university's medical franchise and in Fairview.