Maple Grove councilor Sargent is sentenced

Maple Grove City Councilor Leann Sargent was sentenced in Hennepin County Court the morning of Monday, April 7.

“I do apologize to citizens of Maple Grove and for the embarrassment to the city,” Sargent said.

Sargent, 63, was previously plead guilty to financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She was sentenced to a gross misdemeanor at the April 7 court hearing.

According to reports, at Monday’s court hearing, District Court Judge Luis Bartolomei said he strongly considered sentencing her for a felony. He decided on a gross misdemeanor because that allows her to stay on the City Council and maintain her purse sales job.

Her sentence was to serve 60 actual days of a 120 day sentence at the Hennepin County Workhouse. Most of her 60 days will be spent in home monitoring.

She was also ordered to pay $107,348 in restitution to her father’s estate and $12,918 to her half brother Robert Bobleter Jr. She has two years to pay the restitution.

Hennepin County Attorney Spokesperson Chuck Laszewski said the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office asked for a probationary period of three years, of that 365 days in the work house. “We were surprised by the judge making the charge a gross misdemeanor with hardly any time in the work house,” he said.

She was previously in court Feb. 5 for a plea hearing in Hennepin County District Court. Court records show she plead guilty to the charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

She was originally charged in January 2013.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the charge stemmed from her using her ailing father’s bank account, credit cards and other assets.

Sargent’s father, Robert E. Bobleter, lived with her from February 2010 until his death in March 2012. During that time, a room and board agreement was signed and notarized that Bobleter would play $500 a month for room and board. A personal care agreement was also made 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.”

Under questioning from assistant Hennepin County Attorney Susan Crumb, Sargent admitted that she used her father’s credit cards to buy inventory for her home handbag sales job. She agreed she has spent more than $14,000 for the “Handbags by Miche” business. She admitted that the total amount of her father’s money she used was more than $35,000.

Sargent has been on the Maple Grove City Council since 1990. She was just re-elected to her position in 2012. Her term expires December 2016.

Maple Grove City Administrator Al Madsen said Sargent can legally keep her position on the council. “The conviction was not a felony, so she can stay on the council,” he said. “It’s her decision.”

He added it was time to move on from here. “Unfortunately this was a family matter that turned ugly.”

Sargent would be able to attend city council meetings by working an arrangement out with the Hennepin County Workhouse.