A former Cass County employee has been sentenced for two counts of felony theft from his employer, the Cass County Highway Department.

Tom Hill, 56, a 31-year county employee, was charged with two felony counts of theft of public funds Aug. 22, 2017, and was convicted by a jury Jan. 16, 2019.

On Monday, District Court Judge Jana Austad sentenced Hill to a Stay of Imposition on the first felony count with 14 conditions, and to 21 days in the county jail, beginning March 18. He will also pay fines and fees totaling $1,927.00.

On the second felony count, Austad also  handed down a Stay of Imposition, with the same 14 conditions, plus an additional $50 fee. Hill will be on supervised probation for five years.

According to the criminal complaint, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office investigator was contacted to look into possible theft by a Cass County employee.

During the investigation, Hill, a shop foreman, was found to have used the county’s account to order vehicle parts for his own vehicle. Cass County Law Enforcement was made aware of two occasions where Hill ordered vehicle parts through the county shop account that were not installed on any county vehicle, and were consistent with parts for a Buick LeSabre, a vehicle that Hill owned.

Hill was placed on administrative leave June 13, 2017, pending further investigation.

Another shop employee noticed that some items from Hill’s office were missing. Further investigation revealed that a battery jump starter pack was billed to the county service truck, but it was not found in the shop or in any county vehicle. A crash sensor unit and an air compressor were also found missing after Hill was placed on leave.

Hill, who initially was not required to return his shop keys, was asked about the missing items, and told investigators none  of them were in his personal vehicle.

The complaint also noted that Hill was seen using county oil and filters to change the oil in his personal vehicle, but it was not noted whether he paid for it.

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