RICHMOND, Minn. (WCCO) — The former mayor of the small Stearns County city of Richmond has been arrested and released.

Scott Kron is under investigation for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the town’s baseball association. Kron resigned his office earlier this summer citing health and personal reasons.

“Scott was very involved in the community,” said city administrator, Martin Bode.

Bode says the hushed investigation has been the talk around town for months, ever since Kron abruptly resigned from office.

The former mayor was a hometown kid and appeared to be well-liked. He was trusted to the point of being elected several times to office, most recently winning a write-in vote as mayor.

That can explain how news of his alleged wrongdoing was like a dark cloud hanging over the tightly knit town.

“Our office had nothing other than that the allegations are under investigation. So now that the news broke, maybe there’s some sense of relief,” Bode said.

But the trust voters place in Kron took a serious hit in early June, when residents learned Kron was being investigated for allegedly stealing money from the Richmond Royals baseball club.

While he was mayor, Kron was also manager of the amateur baseball team and had access to team funds.

“Kind of shocking. Heartbreaking,” resident Jason Hemmesch said.

Hemmesch and other residents of Richmond awoke to the news that Kron was arrested on Wednesday and later released pending formal charges.

Because local pull tab money helps fund the baseball program, the state’s Gambling Control Board is assisting in the investigation.

Hemmesch says it doesn’t just hurt the team, but the whole town.

“Shock, hurt … a lot of people do a lot of things for the baseball team, they put in a lot of time and effort,” Hemmesch said.

For more than a century baseball’s been a central part of the town’s summertime fun. Now, suddenly, accusations of embezzlement by a person entrusted are tarnishing their hometown ballpark.

Because the investigation is still ongoing, authorities can’t say how much money is missing from the team’s account. That will likely be made public when formal charges are filed.

Bill Hudson

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