Suburban official accused of exploiting dadby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin County prosecutors Tuesday charged a Maple Grove city council member with perjury and for financially exploiting her ailing father before he died last year.
According to the complaint, Leann Sargent used her power of attorney and authority over her father's finances to take more than $150,000 from his bank accounts and credit cards.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said despite taking the money, Sargent still filed for bankruptcy and failed to report income she received from her father.
"This is disturbing. Not only is this an exploitation of a vulnerable adult, it's exploitation of her father. And that violates kind of every rule of decency we know," said Freeman.
Sargent's attorney Chris Ritts said she is not guilty, and said Sargent was caught off guard by the criminal charges.
"She's devastated by it," said Ritts. "These are allegations made by her brother. So it's very shocking and distressing to her emotionally."
Freeman says Sargent's brother told police something was wrong when he noticed his father's bank account had been depleted.
If convicted, Sargent would likely face probation, not prison, according to Freeman.