Auditor Blaha Issues Public Report on Investigations of Cities of Canton and Whalan - April 6, 2022
Former city employee sentenced
Saint Paul, MN – State Auditor Blaha has issued two investigative reports regarding the misuse of public funds in the cities of Canton and Whalan. The OSA previously shared the non-public version of the reports with the Fillmore County Attorney, who used them in the successful prosecution of the former clerk/treasurer on counts of felony theft and embezzlement.
“This result demonstrates the strong cooperation between my office, law enforcement, and the County Attorney,” said Auditor Blaha. “Our financial analyses and local government expertise helped hold a former city employee accountable for wrongdoing and to obtain financial restitution for the cities of Canton and Whalan.”
In 2019, an OSA investigation found $134,639 in apparently improper payments to the former Clerk/Treasurer of Canton. In 2020, an OSA investigation found $13,770 in apparently improper payments to the former Clerk/Treasurer in Whalan, who was also the subject of the OSA’s City of Canton Investigative Report. The OSA shared both reports with local law enforcement and the County Attorney.
The former employee faced prosecution and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of embezzlement of public funds and a felony charge of theft by swindle. On March 7, 2022, the former employee was sentenced to 120 days in jail, up to 10 years of supervised probation, to perform 50 hours of community service work, and to pay a combined $79,554 in restitution ($69,916 to Canton and $9,638 to Whalan).
The complete investigative reports on Canton and Whalan can be found on the OSA website.