Sarah Horner / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — The former athletic director of Como Park Senior High made his first appearance in court Wednesday, Aug. 16, on allegations that he stole nearly $100,000 in public money during his six-year career with the St. Paul school district. Michael William Searles, 49, was represented during the brief hearing by defense attorney Earl Gray. The Dellwood resident faces one count of felony-level theft by swindle for his alleged conduct, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Ramsey County District Court in June.
ST. PAUL—Here's how authorities say it worked: Elfonzo Dyrell Shelby, who claimed to live in St. Paul but actually lived in Fargo, sent phony surveys to inmates at a correctional facility in Mississippi. In exchange for filling them out, the North Dakota man promised each $45. Then he used the information to apply for government benefits that he pocketed.
ST. PAUL — A Coon Rapids police officer's decision to shoot a felon who led officers on a high-speed chase across Anoka County last fall was justified, authorities say. The Ramsey County attorney's office announced its decision Tuesday, Aug. 15, not to press charges against Coon Rapids police officer Brian Platz. Platz shot and wounded Castle Rogers Ahlbeck on Nov. 17 while the 25-year-old was fleeing police after his alleged involvement in a shooting. Ahlbeck has pleaded not guilty to the counts facing him in that case.
ST. PAUL—St. Paul has been dropped as a party in a slew of multi-million dollar lawsuits that sprang from a St. Paul police officer's handling of an allegedly fabricated federal sex trafficking. A federal judge ruled this week that the suits failed to support allegations that it was any of the city's customs, practices or policies that influenced the lead investigator's botched handling of the case, nor that such behavior was widespread among other police officers, according to court documents.
MINNEAPOLIS — The volunteer headquarters that will help orchestrate the Super Bowl when it comes to town next winter opens its doors this weekend. Crew 52 Volunteer Headquarters will officially open at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, according to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. Located at 40 Seventh St. S. inside the Minneapolis City Center, the site will serve as the screening grounds for those interested in joining the hordes of volunteers needed to pull off the sporting extravaganza.
MAHTOMEDI, Minn. — Shortly after a Mahtomedi man was arrested on suspicion of trafficking his former girlfriend for sex, he called the woman he's accused of victimizing and pleaded with her to defend him against the allegations, authorities say Shaun Michael Maubach, 32, reportedly made the call while in custody in Washington County in early July. He repeatedly asked the woman to be "in his corner" and tried to persuade her not to follow through on her plans to seek an order for protection against him, according to court documents.
ST. PAUL — An Anoka man admitted in court Monday, Aug. 7, to angrily posting nude pictures of his ex on a fake Facebook account after their relationship ended and she began seeing someone else. Michael Weigel, 39, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to one count of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images after reaching a plea deal in his case with prosecutors, court records say.
ST. PAUL — Charges have been dismissed against a cousin of Philando Castile who was accused of throwing objects at police in a protest that broke out on Interstate 94 in St. Paul shortly after Castile was fatally shot by a police officer last summer. Officials with the Carver County attorney's office announced their decision to drop the case against Louis Hunter on Wednesday morning, Aug. 2.
ST. PAUL—Wielding musical instruments and signs, a small crowd of protesters gathered in front of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi's office in downtown St. Paul on Friday morning with a unified rallying cry. "Drop the charges," they shouted between bursts of music and brief speeches.
ST. PAUL—A supervisor in the accounts payable department at Hamline University accused of orchestrating an elaborate fraud scheme admitted to the conduct in court this week. Teresa Garin, 51, of St. Paul pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of felony-level theft by swindle, court records say. Her public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Garin stole more than $150,000 from the school by creating fake vendor accounts and cashing checks issued by the university into her personal bank account, according to criminal complaints.