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The amount of money in question is $1,500, which the officer returned a short time after a coworker said she had withdrawn the money from the 2010 International Association of Women’s Police Conference’s checking account — an account which she had control over.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

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