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Associated Press, Published January 09 2011

Hastings police officer charged with stealing bottle opener

EAGAN, Minn. – A Hastings police officer has been charged with stealing a $10 bottle opener. If he’s convicted, he could lose his job.

Rene Doffing, 47, was charged Friday with misdemeanor theft. The case is being investigated and prosecuted by Eagan to avoid a conflict of interest.

Defense attorney Paul Engh told the Minneapolis Star Tribune his client will provide a statement of innocence to Eagan police on Monday. Engh says Doffing did nothing wrong and his conscience is clear.

Prosecutors say a Dakota County deputy saw Doffing reach over the bar at a Hastings restaurant in November, grab a corkscrew and slip it in his pocket. Both the deputy and Doffing were off-duty.

Hastings police Chief Paul Schnell said Doffing was placed on administrative duty Wednesday.

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