Campbell fined $75
A former Faribault County deputy will not spend any time behind bars, but will be on probation and pay a small fine as part of a plea agreement.
Terry Lee Campbell, 46, of Blue Earth pleaded guilty to misuse of a credit card to secure services during a court hearing in Martin County District Court held Monday in Fairmont.
“It was a witch hunt. The county got what they wanted,” says Campbell.
The misdemeanor charge carried a maximum penalty of 90 days and a $1,000 fine.
Judge Robert Walker stayed the 90-day jail sentence, placed Campbell on one year unsupervised probation and fined him $75. Also, any claims for restitution must be filed within 30 days.
Campbell originally was charged with four felony counts of theft and gross misdemeanor credit card use involving government funds.
But, the charges were dismissed when an amended complaint was filed a week before Monday’s hearing.
“Mr. Campbell never intended to deprive the county of funds. He paid the money back in full within one day,” says Campbell’s attorney, Peter Wold of Minneapolis.
Wold says pleading guilty to the lesser charge will allow Campbell to keep his Post Board license, meaning he will be able to work in law enforcement again if he chooses.
Mike Trushenski, assistant Martin County attorney, prosecuted the case for Faribault County because of conflicts of interest.
Trushenski says Faribault County officials supported the plea agreement.
“We thought this was the best way to resolve the case so everyone could move on and forward,” he says.
Last November, Campbell pleaded innocent and requested a jury trial be held in Blue Earth.
A trial was scheduled to begin on Sept. 15.
The felony and gross misdemeanor charges stem from an investigation by Cottonwood County authorities into reports Campbell might be involved with theft of government funds.
According to a court complaint, the former deputy allegedly used the county’s credit card to purchase gasoline for personal use in July 2010.
Campbell later repaid the $27.50 with a personal check, says the complaint.
Also, Campbell in August 2010 reportedly collected mileage reimbursement when he used a squad car to attend an Emergency Management Services meeting held in Eagle Lake.
Officials also discovered that Campbell received mileage checks in 2007, 2008 and 2009.