A longtime Maple Grove City Council member is being investigated and accused by her siblings of stealing from their dying father. Now, just weeks before the election, police have collected evidence from her home and continue to comb through financial records.
A search warrant not only includes cash, but questions the finances behind a car and a cabin as well.
Councilwoman LeAnn Sargent is not facing criminal charges at this point, but her brother stands by every word of his allegations after bringing the case to police a few months ago.
Sargent started on the Maple Grove City Council back in 1991, and has also served as a liaison to the planning commission. But now the public servant is having her private life examined.
According to a search warrant filed in Hennepin County this week, Sargent became the center of a family financial mess after her 85-year-old father, Robert Bobleter, died back in March.
According to that same search warrant, Sargent's siblings became suspicious when $346 was all that was left in their father's bank account.
Investigators learned Sargent had been appointed power of attorney of her father in 2008. He lived with his daughter and her husband for the last two years of his life and received hospice care..
But in that time investigators found bank records showing more than $97,000 worth of cash advances, checks from her father's account totaling over $76,000 and unusual purchases and expenses over $86,000 including payments to local spas, realtor-related payments and Miche handbags.
In addition to her city council duties, Sargent is a licensed real estate broker and representative for Miche, featured recently in the local Patch.com news website.
The search warrant also notes Sargent and her husband Scott filed bankruptcy a year before her father died. They swore by affidavit their combined gross annual income for 2011 was $88,000, but made no mention Sargent was receiving money from her father, or expected anything from inheritance.
On Monday officers armed with a search warrant took a list of items from Sargent's home including financial paperwork in file cabinets, a cell phone, computers and records from her late father's bedroom.
Just three days later, Sargent was part of a candidate forum. Time will tell whether or not trying to get re-elected becomes the least of her worries.
This case is in the hands of the Eden Prairie police. They are investigating in order to avoid a conflict of interest in Maple Grove. They are treating this as an alleged theft case and possible financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Sargent declined to comment on the investigation.
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