CANTON, Minn. – Criminal charges have been filed against the former Clerk/Treasurer of Canton.
Lolitta Marie Melander, 52 of Lanesboro, is accused of seven counts of theft, one count of embezzlement, and one count of a public officer permitting false claims against the government. Authorities say Melander is suspected of stealing $134,639 from the City of Canton, with her alleged criminal activity dating back to 2011.
Canton city government has issued the following statement on this situation:
“We know that these allegations are upsetting and hurt the trust of residents in the city’s operations. Brock Bergey was hired for the position of city clerk/treasurer following Melander’s resignation and is working with the council and residents to address concerns and strengthen internal business practices to prevent future abuse.”
“The city’s annual audit revealed concerns earlier this year, and the Canton City Council accepted Melander’s resignation in March following the auditor’s report. An investigation by the Office of the State Auditor and Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department pursued and was completed in mid-October. The city participated fully in the investigation and was not able to comment during that time.”
“The city has recovered some of the misappropriated funds but intends to seek full restitution.”
“The City of Canton is prepared to address any issues arising from these allegations to the best of our ability, and will work with residents to move forward in a responsive and transparent manner.”
Charges were filed against Melander on October 16. She has not entered a plea.