Waseca A-OK with councilwoman Cynthia Coy stealing from foster children
Waseca City Councilwoman Cynthia Coy pled guilty Tuesday to ripping off foster children by falsifying visitation records to the tune of $1,735.80.
But she won't have to step down from her position as a city official because she has entered into a plea agreement with the Steele County attorney's office that amounts to a slap on the wrist. Coy pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of misconduct of a public officer.
In Minnesota, government employees convicted of felonies must resign. Coy was originally charged with felony theft in addition to various misdemeanor counts. The plea deal allows her to avoid a felony on her record as well as the unemployment line. And if the city of Waseca has a problem with that, it's not saying.
Waseca City Manager Crystal Prentice declined to comment to City Pages about whether Coy should have to resign. Prentice also promised that no city employee would comment.
"I don't have any kind of statement to make," she said, explaining, "I just choose not to."
We asked if there was an official policy prohibiting Prentice from commenting, and she hung up on us.
City Pages also reached out to Waseca Mayor Roy Srp, who has not returned a voicemail.
Their silence on the issue is curious, considering what Coy was charged with and pled guilty to.
In July, she was charged with felony theft and misdemeanor charges of false representation and receiving unauthorized compensation as a public official.
Coy was a Guardian ad Litem for the state of Minnesota, meaning she was tasked with being "an advocate for a child whose welfare is a matter of concern for the court." Her job was to stand up for the rights of foster children. A Rice County social worker began to suspect that Coy wasn't attending these visits and reported Coy to her supervisor, Jane Glander, Third District Manager for the Guardian Ad Litem Program.
Glander and Coy had a meeting October 12, 2009, where Coy reportedly admitted "she had not provided the foster care visits that she billed for," according to Waseca County News.
Her contract was terminated two days later. Criminal charges were brought this summer. And she continues to represent Waseca's third ward.
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