Ellendale Mayor Charged With Theft From Veterans Memorial Fund

Updated: 07/09/2014 10:32 PM
Created: 07/09/2014 9:43 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- The mayor of Ellendale was charged with theft after allegedly stealing money from a veterans memorial fund.

Roger Swearingen faces three counts of theft and could face up to a year in jail for alleged offenses dating back to October of 2012.

According to the police report, Swearingen stole money from a fund used to build and maintain the veterans memorial at the Ellendale City Hall.

Police say Swearingen shared control of the account with another man, but allegedly made over a dozen withdrawals without notifying the city.     

When asked about the missing funds, Swearingen told police they were used to buy bricks for the memorial but did not have receipts for all of those purchases.

He also told police some of the money was used to pay himself for time spent working on the memorial, wages he said he determined himself and no one else knew about.

The assistant county attorney handling the case said in total there is just over $1400 unaccounted for.

ABC 6 tried to contact Swearingen for comment, but he did not return our calls.

His first court appearance is set for August 18th.

The investigation was handled by Mower County to avoid a conflict of interest. Ellendale is located in Steele County.