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Jim Hunter, embattled mayor of Crosby, Minn., resigns

Crosby, Minn., Mayor Jim Hunter is pictured at an April meeting of the Crosby City Council. Crosby City Council accepted Hunter’s resignation Monday. Zach Kayser / Forum News Service file photo

CROSBY, Minn.—Jim Hunter is out as Crosby's mayor.

The Crosby City Council accepted Hunter's resignation Monday via a letter sent by Ed Shaw, Hunter's lawyer, council member Ron Prushek confirmed late Monday night.

Hunter was elected in November 2016 for a two-year term and was arrested in March, charged with felony theft by swindle, assault and several other charges. Hunter had denied calls for him to step down prior to Monday's meeting.

Prushek, who is also acting mayor, said the letter was dated Friday, Aug. 25, and Hunter was not present at Monday's meeting. The plan is to replace Hunter with a city council member, unless no one on the council is interested, Prushek said. In that case, the council would seek letters of intent from community members.

Prushek said one council member, Bob Novak, expressed interest in the post. The council is poised to make an appointment at its next council meeting, Monday, Sept. 11. If Novak were to change his mind, Prushek said, the council would solicit letters at that point. A special election was not among the considerations.

The criminal charges filed in Crow Wing County Court in March against Hunter weaved allegations of a love affair intertwined with an illegal financial scheme, culminating in confrontation and gunplay. Together with alleged lover and accomplice Candice Ann McCartan, Hunter reportedly ran a confidence trick against her husband, a criminal complaint stated.

Thomas McCartan reported Hunter for a number of alleged crimes, chiefly the swindling of $90,000.

Thomas McCartan told police that his wife and Hunter convinced him to purchase Buy Sell Trade, one of Hunter's businesses in Crosby. McCartan had been working for Hunter at Buy Sell Trade for about two years, the charges said.

Hunter's pitch was that owning the store would be steady income, and that it would help fix their credit problems, according to the criminal complaint. Hunter allegedly got Thomas McCartan to believe the store made $8,000 and $12,000 a month in revenue.

Hunter also reportedly told Thomas McCartan the sale price was $45,000. But several days later, after Thomas McCartan had already signed the sale documents, he found out he was actually required to pay Hunter $90,000 via a lien placed on his home.

As Thomas McCartan was divorcing Candice McCartan, his divorce attorney examined the sale documents, and it turned out what Thomas McCartan had actually bought was the inventory of the store, some computers, the cash register and the ATM machine. The value of the purchase was between $5,000 and $7,000, his attorney told him—a far cry from the $90,000 he was supposed to pay.

A later conversation between Hunter and Thomas McCartan's son allegedly resulted in Hunter pointing a handgun toward him with his finger on the trigger.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Perkins interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins, and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before becoming the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as the county government beat reporter at the Dispatch and a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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