MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 60-day jail sentence for a Maple Grove city councilwoman who pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from her dying father has been judged too lenient by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Sentencing guidelines state that Leann Sargent should have been sentenced to a felony and sent to prison for 36 months if she violated her probation, the appeals court said.READ MORE: Tips For Buying A Home In A Historically Tough Market
Instead, a Hennepin County District Court judge, Luis Bartolomei, reduced her sentence to a gross misdemeanor and 120 days in the county workhouse and permitted her to keep her job on the city council.
Bartolomei reasoned that letting Sargent keep her job on the council would allow her to pay back the $120,000 she stole. But the appeals court found that that was not a valid reason for reducing her sentence, especially since she was ordered to pay only $78 per month, a rate that would take more than 125 years to make full restitution.READ MORE: What's The Risk Of Getting COVID On A Plane?
“The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed with us that there was no reason to give her a lighter sentence. and we are pleased she will be resentenced,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement.
Sargent, 63, pleaded guilty to one felony count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult on the morning of Feb. 5.
According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Sargent had power of attorney for her sick father. From 2008 until the time of his death in March of 2012, she took more than $153,000.MORE NEWS: DNR: Early 'Fish Kill' On Minnesota Lakes Isn't Cause For Alarm