A warrant was issued Friday afternoon for a man accused of stealing over $270k from Dakota County. County Attorney James Backstrom announced that 39 year old Vangyee Leng Yang, of Fridley, has been charged* with 5 counts of Theft by Swindle in connection with the disappearance of said dollars from the housing fund. Yang allegedly took the money from April, 2016, to May 31, 2018, while he worked as an employee with the Dakota County Community
Development Agency. He was fired on June 26, 2018. In May of 2018, the Agency (CDA) discovered irregularities. Checks were written to CDA clients who were deceased, no longer eligible or weren’t clients. As the CDA’s software system coordinator, Yang had the ability to create these fraudulent client accounts. The fraudulent checks were deposited into two separate TCF Bank checking accounts, both listing Yang as account holder. Backstrom said, This is a major economic crime for which we intend to seek an aggravated sentence under Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines if a conviction is obtained.” A warrant has been issued for Yang’s arrest. Anyone who has information about his whereabouts should contact the Eagan Police Department at 651-675-5700. YangVangyeeCharged
Nfld gets surprise grant $ for intersection
Northfield’s Firehall is getting buttoned up as they continue to work on the expansion. Administrator Ben Martig said they’re doing roof work, putting in windows and have wrapped up the concrete/bituminous work. Landscaping will be carried over to next year. He noted that work continues inside. As for more road construction, he said staff will be acquiring annexations for Spring Creek Rd. They’ll also be acquiring easements and awarding the project (which came in under bid) The intersection of Jefferson and Hwy 246 has been talked about consistently for years. Martig said they got a little bit of a surprise, “we were notified that we were awarded up to $900,000 to look at adding in a roundabout”. It’s a 1.8 mi. Project so that’s big news. They have also applied for a $480,000 grant that they’ll find out about in mid-December. Those dollars will create some serious discussion with Council including topics like design, finance and policy discussions including a possible underpass. Should things fall into place, design work would happen in 2019 with possible construction in 2020.
Fossum discusses Veterans Court
Similar to Drug Court, Veterans Court is a collaborative process for those in the criminal justice system. That includes the prosecutor, defense counsel, Judge, the Department of Veteran Affairs and other community based support organizations. The goal of Veterans Court is to rehabilitate and restore veterans as active, contributing members of their community. The Court creates and supervises treatment plans to address the underlying causes of the veterans behavior and substance abuse issues. Issues commonly addressed by the treatment programs. Rice County Attorney John Fossum has been on the planning committee to create a Veterans Court within our Judicial District, which is 11 counties. What they’ve decided to do is have two Veterans Courts within the judicial district, likely one in Rochester and another in Owatonna. One of the questions Fossum asked was how many Veterans they really have in the system. Right now there are 31 on probation, which is a lot more than he thought. These veterans often suffer from a variety of issues such as PTSD, served multiple combat tours, maybe had a less than honorable discharge which leads to some self-worth issues. They may not think they’re eligible for certain benefits. Part of the idea is to connect them with the benefits available to them. Fossum said they’ll look at grant funding and will have volunteer time from corrections officers, defense attorneys, including Northfield Councilor Greg Colby and prosecuting attorneys. They hope to be up and running by February.