MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - A member of the Maple Grove City Council was sentenced to time in the workhouse Monday for using her power of attorney to steal from her ill father.
LeAnn Sargent was sentenced to pay more than $100,000 in restitution and serve 120 days in the Hennepin County Workhouse. She will be eligible for home monitoring after 60 days. The charges against her were reduced from felony level to gross misdemeanor, That reduction means that technically she can retain her position on the Maple Grove City Council.
Sargent was ordered to repay $107,000 to her father's estate, and $12,000 to her brother. She has two years to repay the money. LeAnn Sargent will also serve two years probation.
Maple Grove City Administrator Al Madsen says because Sargent's charges weren't a felony, she is able to return to her job if she chooses, and that the choice is hers as the council has no say in the matter legally.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County, Sargent's father struggled with a severe kidney disease and gave her power of attorney. Her family alleged that she used that power to write herself checks and take advances on her father's credit card starting in 2008.
She is accused of stealing more than $200,000 to pay her bills and purchase things like a car, spas and handbags. The complaint states she continued to steal money even as her father's health got worse.
In 2010, his condition got so bad he had to move in with her. The two agreed he would pay Sargent $500 for rent and $1,500 per month for personal care services, according to the complaint.
Freeman said she never claimed that money when she filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Her father died in March of 2012.