Ellendale mayor charged with 3 counts of theft

Published 10:19 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

By Al Strain

Owatonna People’s Press

ELLENDALE — The mayor for the City of Ellendale is facing three theft charges after authorities say he stole hundreds of dollars from a fund for the city’s veteran memorial.

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Roger Swearingen, 66, was charged with one count of gross misdemeanor theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft in Steele County District Court. The charges were filed on July 2 when the criminal complaint was issued as a summons.

Authorities allege that Swearingen had been taking out withdrawals from the memorial fund since October of 2012, about a month before the people of Ellendale elected him as mayor after he ran unopposed.

There was no documentation of several expenses Swearingen claimed he used the funds for, according to the complaint. The withdrawal dates in question range from October of 2012 to February of this year.

Swearingen said he had no comment on the charges at this time. The summons issued by the court orders him to appear in court to face the charges on Aug. 18.