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Mayor of NW Minn. town accused of stealing from sister

  • Associated Press
  • August 14, 2013 - 12:44 PM

LAKE PARK, Minn. — The mayor of a small community in northwestern Minnesota is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his sister, who has Down syndrome and is a resident of an assisted-living facility.

Aaron Wittnebel is charged in Becker County with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and failure to provide care. The 32-year-old mayor is his sister's guardian and conservator of her estate.

The Divine House in Detroit Lakes notified county officials in 2012 that Wittnebel was more than $6,000 behind in payment for his sister's care. At a hearing to replace Wittnebel as conservator, the mayor admitted he had not made regular payments to the Divine House, combined his finances with his sister's and had about $100 left in the account.

The mayor's attorney, Joe Irby, tells The Forum (http://bit.ly/15EjFoc ) that Wittnebel denies any wrongdoing.

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