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Danube, Minn., whistle blower apologizes for theft, to make restitution

OLIVIA -- A former Danube City Council member will serve five years of probation and time on home arrest, but will be able to avoid time in prison if she repays the city's economic development agency the money she stole.

Sharon Lothert, 59, now of Hector, apologized for her actions shortly before being sentenced today for a felony theft charge and gross misdemeanor misconduct charge by a public official in Renville County District Court in Olivia.

"I am really sorry for the problems I caused for the city of Danube and for my family," Lothert told District Court Judge Randall Slieter.

The judge stayed imposition of a one-year, one-day prison sentence provided she make restitution of $22,055.75 to the Danube EDA and abide by terms of her probation. She must serve five years of probation and abide by requirements she continue counseling for mental health issues and perform 90 hours of community service work.

The judge allowed her to serve a 30-day jail sentence on home electronic arrest with work release privileges. She is a caregiver to an ailing spouse, and is beginning a new job as a waitress, according to information presented in court.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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