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Forum Communications Co., Published June 07 2012

Grafton city employees charged with theft

GRAFTON, N.D. – The superintendent of the Grafton Municipal Utilities Electrical Department and three of his employees are facing felony criminal charges in connection with theft of city property, according to Walsh County State’s Attorney Barb Whelan.

Brent Adam McMillan, 49, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with misapplication of entrusted property.

McMillan, the department’s superintendent, is accused of disposing of, using or transferring an interest in property owned by the city of Grafton, but Whelan refused to comment on the specifics of the case.

The Grafton resident appeared Thursday in Walsh County District Court, where bond was set at $20,000 cash or surety. He was released Thursday at 4 p.m., according to the jailer.

According to the state’s attorney, two of McMillan’s bond conditions are that he turn in his keys to all Grafton municipal buildings and he is restricted from all non-public Grafton municipal property.

The charge against McMillan is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Russell W. Geddes, 45, Kelly R. Laskowske, 48, and Bradley George Strom, 28, all of Grafton, are each accused of stealing and re-selling used wire and used transformers while on the job at the Grafton Municipal Utilities Electrical Department.

All three were charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit theft of property, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Grafton police investigated the charges over a number of weeks.

McMillan is scheduled to make his initial court appearance June 17. Geddes, Laskowske and Strom are expected to appear today.