Ellendale Mayor Enters Plea in Theft Case

Created: 08/18/2014 7:20 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The mayor of Ellendale plead not guilty to theft charges in Steele County court Monday. 

According to the police report, Mayor Roger 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.

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