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Associated Press, Published July 16 2010

UPDATED: ND Supreme Court upholds conviction of former WSI director Sandy Blunt

BISMARCK — North Dakota's Supreme Court on Friday upheld the felony conviction of former state workers compensation director Sandy Blunt, though the decision was not unanimous.

Blunt appealed his December 2008 conviction on allegations that he misspent more than $10,000 in Workforce Safety and Insurance funds. He argued the law does not justify his felony conviction and asked the Supreme Court to order an acquittal or a new trial.

The court did neither. Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle disagreed with part of the majority decision, saying he thought Blunt should have been found guilty of a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

A jury found Blunt guilty of a felony charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Judge Bruce Romanick gave Blunt a two-year deferred sentence, fined him $2,000 and ordered him to do 1,000 hours of community service.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.