Perjury charges dropped against Maple Grove city councilor

1 charge still pending

The two perjury charges against Maple Grove City Councilor Leann Sargent were dropped at a hearing July 2.

According to Hennepin County Attorney Spokesperson Chuck Laszewski, the two perjury charges were dropped after the attorney’s office did more investigation into the matter. “We found that after the investigation, that the charges were not in our jurisdiction,” he said.

Sargent had been charged with perjury back in January of this year. The criminal complaint stated Sargent was power of attorney for her father, Robert E. Bobleter, and during a period of time from 2009 to March 2011, received $153,000 from her father.

Her father also lived with her from February 2010 until his death in 2012. During that time, a room and board agreement was signed and notarized that Bobleter would pay $500 a month for room and board. A personal car agreement was also found that stated, “Bobleter agreed to pay Sargent $1,500 a month for personal care services, including meal preparation, laundry, transportation, housekeeping, errand running, banking/bill paying, grocery shopping and bathing/grooming/dressing.”

In February 2011, Sargent and her husband jointly filed Chapter 7 Volunteer Petition to the United States Bankruptcy Court. Sargent identified her occupation as a Maple Grove City Councilmember and listed her gross monthly income wages at $1,042.17, the complaint states. She also listed $500 per month in her income. The complaint states Sargent did not identify the $1,500 a month has income she received from her father. Because of this and the cash advances she received from her father she did not state in bankruptcy court under oath, she was charged with two counts of perjury.

The charge of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult is still pending. Laszewski said the next court date is Sept. 10, where an omnibus hearing will take place. An omnibus hearing is a pretrial hearing with a main purpose to determine the admissibility of evidence, including testimony and evidence seized at the time of arrest.

The complaint investigator said, “I have concluded that in breach of that fiduciary obligation, Sargent intentionally used, managed, or took the real or personal property or other financial resources of Bobleter for the benefit of someone other than Bobleter, namely herself, and that the amount of property or financial resources that Sargent took was in excess of $35,000.”

The financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult charge is a felony and if convicted, Sargent could face up to 20 years in jail and/or a $100,000 fine.