Letter: Story wasn't worth page one
I find it appalling that the West Central Tribune decided that the disappearance of $214 in funds from the Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Office warranted a full-fledged story worthy of a large chunk of the front page. Being a public employee ...
I find it appalling that the West Central Tribune decided that the disappearance of $214 in funds from the Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Office warranted a full-fledged story worthy of a large chunk of the front page. Being a public employee clearly made Trisha Appeldorn a desirable target for the Tribune and law enforcement. Normally, alleged theft of less than $250 warrants a misdemeanor charge. However, when public funds are involved, Minnesota statute allows a felony indictment. Not surprisingly, Kandiyohi County prosecutors, being the zealous folks that they are, didn't miss the opportunity to order the whole enchilada.
The story admits that Appeldorn's supervisors had high praise for her. Isn't it easier to just give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that the missing $214 is the result of disorganization or a temporary error in judgment rather than drag the poor woman's name through the mud? It is, after all, only $214. Not $2,014, not $20,014 -- $214.
In the future, can we expect bold headlines if a courthouse janitor buys a Coca-Cola with the dollar bill he finds while sweeping the floor? What if a secretary at some county office buys coffee at Cash Wise and forgets to return the change to the petty cash drawer? Will that make the front page, or maybe just be relegated to a few paragraphs on the inside of the newspaper?
The next time the Tribune wants to go on a witch-hunt over $214, I ask that they contact me first. I'd be happy to pay Kandiyohi County that amount just to ensure that the front page is actually used for real news and an undeserving woman doesn't have to suffer public embarrassment over such a trivial matter.