Felony charges against social worker expose Pennington county prosecutor and TRF police chief

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on May 21, 2015 at 7:39 A.M.

Sally Mumm, the sadistic social worker that viciously abused vulnerable adults, and stole money from her clients, now faces six felony charges involving fraud.

The charges were filed by Clearwater County Attorney Richard Mollin, who is acting as special prosector.

Pennington County Attorney Alan Rogalla and Thief River Falls Police Chief Dick Wittenberg are now facing scrutiny for statements they made to the media regarding the Mumm case, prior to the charges being filed.

According to statements by Rogalla and Wittenberg to Valley News, the case was a complicated intermingling of matters that involved health-care providers; the State of Minnesota; and clients.

Rogalla’s statements to Valley News were originally sparked by a petition to have him investigated and removed from office for covering up the Mumm abuse and fraud scandal.

Both Rogalla and Wittenberg claimed there was an ongoing investigation that required a considerable amount of time due to the very complicated nature of it.

However, the charges recently filed against Mumm do not appear complicated at all. Mumm is charged under Minnesota State Statute 609.465 - Presenting False Claims to Public Officer or Body.

According to court records, Mumm lied to her employer about working. She claimed she was working when she wasn’t and got paid. She did it six times between January and September, 2013.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, “Court papers allege Mumm lied on county records, falsely claiming to take a county car on work-related trips on seven separate occasions between January 2013 and December 2013.”

“In each instance, Mumm was paid in full for a total of $1,273, according to the affidavit. Mumm did not record the trips in her county-issued calendar in four instances, the affidavit says,” the Herald reported.

If one takes the present charges at face value, Rogalla and Wittenberg were dealing with something more akin to a problem solving assignment for a high school class, as opposed to something requiring years of investigation by a County Attorney and police department.

When the present charges are contrasted to statements Rogalla and Wittenberg made to Valley News while facing allegations of a cover-up – the reason a petition was being sought against Rogalla in the first place becomes obvious.  

On January 29, 2015, Rogalla spoke to Valley News. “Rogalla says it’s going to take some time to decide whether the case warrants criminal charges, since it delves into complex financial transactions involving health care providers, the State and clients,” he said.

The charges against Mumm have nothing to do with complex financial transactions involving health care providers or the State.

On February 2, Rogalla spoke to Valley News again. “There’s been an ongoing investigation. We have never stopped the investigation. This is a complicated financial investigation,” he said.

There is nothing complicated about the charges against Mumm.

In the February 2 article by Valley News, Wittenberg backed Rogalla up.

“And today, Thief River Police Chief, Dick Wittenberg also confirmed that yes, it is an open case. But, there’s a lot of financial information they have to sift through. It’s now expected that we should know within about one month, whether or not criminal charges will be filed in the case,” Valley News reported.

The charges against Mumm do not involve “a lot of financial information” as stated by Wittenberg. It involves $1,273 that Mumm was paid for work she never did on trips she never took.

Wittenberg’s expression that doubt still existed regarding whether or not charges would be brought against Mumm show a cover-up was underway.

The very simple facts, existing since 2013, supporting the present charges against Mumm, were always there and never changed.

Rogalla and Wittenberg knew the facts the whole time and had no intentions of charging Mumm until the public rose up and began a petition.

The charges reflect no justice for Mumm’s abuse victims.

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