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BREAKING NEWS

BEA school employee faces theft charges

By Staff | Feb 7, 2011

A Blue Earth Area School District employee faces two theft charges.

A court complaint says 61-year-old Mark Hauskins of Blue Earth has been charged with one felony count of theft of public property/funds and misdemeanor theft of property valued under $500.

“Anytime there is theft of public funds, it’s a felony. It doesn’t matter how much it is,” says Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman.

Hauskins, who works in the district’s transportation maintenence department, is accused of selling used school bus oil and keeping the money.

Superintendent Dale Brandsoy would not say if an employee placed on administrative leave with pay was Hauskins.

“The district’s attorney and the employee’s are negotiating agreements to what they are entitled to. I thought it would have been resolved by now,” Brandsoy says of the suspended worker.

In November, the school board passed a resolution proposing to fire an unnamed employee.

According to court papers, Fairmont detective Matt Owens was contacted to help investigate the theft of used school bus oil.

The detective met with Brandsoy and district transportation director Dan Brod. It was determined that Hauskins was selling the oil and keeping the money.

The complaint says one of Hauskins’ duties involved changing the oil of school vehicles.

When Brod confronted Hauskins, he reportedly addmitted selling the oil and turned over receipts showing sales since 2007.

According to the receipts, oil sold from June 7, 2007, through Oct. 13, 2010, totaled $178.

After school officials confronted Hauskins, he reportedly repaid the district $180.

When interviewed by Owens, Hauskins admitted selling the used oil and he did not have permission.

The maximum penalty for theft of public funds is five years and a $5,000 fine, while misdemeanor theft carries a maximum sentence of 90 days and a $1,000 fine.