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Drug charges dismissed against county social worker

WILLMAR -- Drug charges against a Kandiyohi County social worker have been dismissed for lack of probable cause.

His job with the county, however, still remains in limbo.

Kent Ames Boyd, 51, of Willmar had been charged with a felony count of controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and a misdemeanor count of prohibited drug purchase or receipt.

Those charges were based on the allegation that he accepted an oxycotin or oxycodone pill from a vulnerable adult client he was visiting in February in Spicer.

According to the complaint, a home health aide told an investigator Boyd was helping record medications in the client's cupboard, and when a bottle of prescription pain medication was discovered, Boyd said he wanted one. The aide said she later saw the client give Boyd a pill and a glass of water.

Boyd claimed he had never taken medication from any client.

In an omnibus order filed July 6, District Judge Michael J. Thompson granted a motion seeking the dismissal sought by Boyd's attorney.

In the order, Thompson concluded that the state could not prove that Boyd had possessed or ingested the pain medicine by direct or circumstantial evidence. "The court concludes that no reasonable jury could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly received oxycodone from (the client) on Feb. 18, 2009," Thompson wrote.

In the memo filed with the omnibus order, Thompson noted the client retracted her statement that she gave Boyd the pain medication and later stated that she gave him Tylenol.

Thompson also noted that the state's case was diminished by the fact that the home health aide waited two months to report the alleged incident.

The delay in the investigation meant there was no physical evidence that Boyd had ingested the pill or that the pill was oxycodone.

Boyd continues to be on administrative leave from his job with the county, according to County Administrator Larry Kleindl.

"We're continuing to look into the situation," said Kleindl, who said he could not comment on whether Boyd was on paid or unpaid leave.