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Vermillion Woman Sentenced For Stealing City Funds

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HASTINGS (WCCO) — A former city clerk for Vermillion, Minn. has been sentenced for stealing thousands in funds to pay for personal expenses, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

On Monday, 62-year-old Patricia Ann Ward of Vermillion pled guilty to one count of theft by swindle in connection to stealing over $2,100 in city funds.

Ward was sentenced to seven days in jail, five years of probation, a $300 fine and ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined. Additionally, Ward cannot seek employment where she would have access to funds.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said Vermillion city officials contacted the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office in October 2009, reporting that they had found financial records indicating Ward had used city funds to pay for personal expenses. As the city’s clerk, Ward was authorized to pay bills and issue checks on behalf of the City.

“The theft of any amount of public funds is breach of trust,” said Backstrom. “We are pleased to have held this former city employee accountable for her illegal actions.”

The judge also ordered Ward to undergo a gambling assessment and to follow the recommendations.

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