City manager ready to move onPublished 9:09am Thursday, September 20, 2012
ALBERT LEA — Former Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman said he is ready to move on after the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday sustained his six felony convictions.
Norman had been waiting for the response of his appeal for about a year after asking in September 2011 that the convictions be overturned and a new trial ordered.
A 12-member jury found him guilty in May 2011 of misusing the city-issued credit card for personal purchases, charging more than $2,000 during his first few months as city manager in 2010.
“It was never my intent to swindle anyone; however, that is what I was charged and convicted of,” Norman said in an email interview Wednesday. “It really doesn’t make any sense to continue the debate. I simply want to go on with my life.”
This will be difficult, however, as a district judge ordered that he not do work that requires him to be a fiduciary for any other person. He had worked 23 years in public administration before coming to Albert Lea.
“The felony convictions carry the same weight in an employer’s mind as does a murder charge — they are both called felonies,” he said. “Therefore, it makes my efforts to become a productive citizen with gainful employment near impossible, especially in this economy.”
His felony convictions upheld are permitting false claims against government by a public officer and theft by swindle.
Norman said though he was disappointed that the appellate court did not reverse his felony convictions, he was pleased it reversed the gross misdemeanor charge of misconduct by a public official.