Carlton Co. fires landfill employee accused of stealing taxpayer money

By KBJR News 1

October 23, 2013 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 6:59 PM CDT

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The former Carlton County landfill employee, accused of stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars over 30 years, has been fired, according to the County Human Resources office.

The official announcement comes weeks after the actual termination.

According to County Human Resources Director, Dennis Genereau, Wappes was actually terminated on October 3rd. He added that no grievance has been filed challenging the termination.

Genereau cites the ongoing investigation into Wappes' landfill theft case as the reasoning behind the firing.

Wappes is facing two felony theft counts of stealing more than $30,000 in fees from Carlton County Transfer Station customers, through an "elaborate scheme" of manipulating the cash register, and falsifying receipts.

That theft amount could go up as the investigation continues.

In court Wednesday, Wappes appeared with her Defense Attorney, Doug Hazelton.

He requested an omnibus hearing for January 31st, citing the ongoing investigation, and the sheer volume of evidence he still has to go through.
Genereau says in light of this investigation Carlton County is reviewing its procedures for the handling of cash transactions.

Genereau added the County is reviewing all options for recovering stolen funds, and will seek restitution in the criminal proceedings.

Because of concerns about conflict of interest, the case has now been turned over to the Saint Louis County Attorney's office for prosecution.

Billy Wagness