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Vicki Gerdes, Forum News Service, Published April 08 2014

Former Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon pleads not guilty

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Former Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including felony counts of theft by swindle and presenting a false claim, along with a gross misdemeanor count of misconduct by a public officer.

Gordon, 58, of Detroit Lakes, resigned from his position as sheriff in October 2012. He was charged in January in Becker County District Court, accused of swindling the public out of money by passing off his old boat as an expensive new one, with his department buying it at an inflated price.

Gordon’s next court appearance is set for May 28.

The charges stem from a yearlong investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension into a boat purchased in 2012 by the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with grant money the department received from the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

The complaint states Sheriff’s Department employees “became suspicious” about the boat, trailer and motor when the equipment appeared to be old and of poor quality.

A deputy for the department told investigators he had seen what appeared to be the same boat at Gordon’s property in 2011, according to the complaint.

Investigators obtained estimates that valued the boat, motor and trailer between $3,400 and $3,500. The county paid $7,856, according to court records.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Stearns County Attorney Kevin Voss in order to prevent a potential conflict of interest caused by the fact that Gordon had served Becker County for 10 years before his resignation.