Faribault County officials aren’t commenting on the employment status of a highway department employee facing criminal charges.
Mark A. Adams, 59, of Winnebago faces two felony counts, one gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property.
“A complaint has been filed and we’re investigating,” says county Central Services director Dawn Fellows. “That’s all I can say.”
Fellows wouldn’t say if the complaint is related to the criminal charges and County Attorney Troy Timmerman did not respond to a request for comment.
According to a court complaint, county officials were conducting an employment investigation involving Adams last January. They suspected timecard issues and installed a GPS unit on his work vehicle.
As a result of information gather, says the complaint, the sheriff’s department contacted the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department to investigate possible stolen county property in Adams’ possession.
Adams is accused of stealing a welder extender cable, 100-gallon fuel tank with pump, road grader shield and a leveling box scraper. Value of the items range from at least $500 to more than $1,000 but less than $5,000.
During his investigation, Nicollet County investigator Aaron Petersen interviewed a retired highway department employee and two current employees.
One employee told Petersen that during a bike ride along Highway 169 in 2015 he noticed a box scraper that looked familiar sitting by Adams’ horse arena. The employee says the scraper had been altered so Adams could use it on his bobcat.
Another employee says he was told by a fellow worker that a box scarper he had not seen for more than a year was at Adams’ farm.
Adams told Petersen he purchased the scraper at Yeager Implement but could not provide any proof.
“If it’s theirs, that fine. It’s not a big deal. I never use it,” Adams told Petersen.
The felony charges carry a maximum of five years in prison and $10,000 fine, while the gross misdemeanor is one year in jail and a $3,000 fine and the misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Adams is scheduled to make his first court appearance on April 3.