Carlton Co. employee theft case confirmed in 7-figure range

By KBJR News 1

Carlton Co. employee theft case confirmed in 7-figure range

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM CDT

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A Carlton County waste transfer station employee accused of stealing over $1,000,000 made her second appearance in court Wednesday on two charges of felony theft.

Joanne Wappes, 63, of Cloquet, is facing charges of theft of public funds and theft by swindle.

During the Rule 8 hearing, Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler revealed that investigators had discovered an additional $59,000 in Wappes's car, and $139,000 in another bank account in her name.

Pertler says this brings the total amount of theft of taxpayer dollars by Wappes to over seven figures.

Wappes, who is not behind bars because she is participating in a Carlton County "confinement alternative program," or CAP, appeared on her own Wednesday morning. She is still working to find legal representation.

Wappes is facing the two felony theft charges for allegedly stealing multiple payments to the transfer station from Carlton County residents during her time as a cashier at the station's gate.

According to the criminal complaint, Wappes allegedly manipulated the cash register by falsifying receipts and substituting the correct end-of-day tally with one that made it seem as though no money was missing.

According to some Carlton County residents, Wappes would decide what they would owe while they used the transfer station based off how she was feeling at the time.

- Billy Wagness