Former police lieutenant convicted of theft and forgery charges

A former Minneapolis police lieutenant was convicted in December on one charge of theft by swindle and four charges of forgery stemming from an incident that happened three years ago. She will be sentenced Feb. 5.

The Hennepin County attorney reportedly said in a release that, although the amount of money was not large, “no one is above the law.”

It is clear that Hennepin County is committed to holding law enforcement officers accountable for their actions, just as everyone else should be held accountable. But is this officer being held to the same standards as everyone else, or being treated more harshly because of her position in law enforcement?

The amount of money in question is $1,500, which the officer returned a short time after a coworker said she had withdrawn the money from the 2010 International Association of Women’s Police Conference’s checking account — an account which she had control over. When she came back from vacation, her supervisor asked her about the suspected withdrawal and the officer redeposited the money.

Charges against the officer originally were filed in 2010, but a judge dismissed the case against her, reportedly because, under employment law, the conversations the officer’s supervisor had with her violated her rights. The county attorney’s office successfully appealed that decision, and charges were refiled.

The county attorney admitted the amount in question is small, and it was returned.

If the charges were against a citizen, someone not connected with law enforcement, would the attorney have taken the same steps to appeal and refile charges against a regular citizen, all for $1,500?

Source: Star Tribune, “Former Mpls. police officer convicted of theft and forgery,” Nicole Norfleet, Dec. 18, 2012

Learn more about theft crimes in Minneapolis by visiting our website.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.
People accused, arrested, or charged with a crime often ask, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Minneapolis, MN?” It is difficult to accurately determine how much a criminal defense lawyer will cost. The reason is that numerous factors impact the cost of legal representation in criminal matters. These factors include the type and severity of criminal charges, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, required time and effort, and geographical location.
Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.