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No penalty for staffer who stole from cognitively impaired resident in Sauk Rapids

SAUK RAPIDS — No arrests were made or charges filed after a pool staffer at a Sauk Rapids nursing home attempted to steal $1,420 and financially exploited a vulnerable adult. 

A contracted employee at Good Shepherd Lutheran Home in Sauk Rapids took and used checks from a resident's checkbook last year, according to a Minnesota Department of Health report that concluded in March. 

The Sauk Rapids Police Department followed up in April and hit a brick wall: the victim had died, the nursing home had destroyed his records, the bank had closed and the victim didn't have family members to contact, according to the police incident report.  

The Benton County Attorney's office did not receive anything about the suspect and didn't file any charges, according to Assistant County Attorney Bob Anderson. 

Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise called it a "perfect storm" for the suspect. One of the checks was used in Missouri, placing it in a different jurisdiction, plus the victim wasn't available and no one actually saw the suspect take the checks, he said.

Kristine Sundberg, Executive Director of Elder Voice Family Advocates, called the situation a travesty. 

"The reason we do investigations is to result in accountability," said Sundberg. "In this case no one was held accountable, first and foremost the person who stole from this man."

The alleged perpetrator was named in the police report but not in the Office of Health Facility Complaints Investigative Public Report, which found her responsible for maltreatment at Good Shepherd. 

She worked for a contractor at the facility, according to the state report. "The director of nursing said the (alleged perpetrator) worked two shifts at the facility in June 2018, and was asked not to return due to an unrelated incident."

Why no charges? Why no bank documents? ......


Nora G. Hertel, St. Cloud Times

Published 6:33 p.m. CT Sept. 19, 2019 | Updated 8:31 p.m. CT Sept. 19, 2019

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