The former manager of the South St. Paul airport pleaded guilty Wednesday in Dakota County District Court to stealing more than $100,000 from the city, his previous employer.
Glenn C. Burke, 55, of Inver Grove Heights, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of theft by temporary control and two felony counts of theft by swindle after he stole money during his time managing the airport. One count of theft by swindle was dismissed.
Burke stole about $108,769 between 2009 and 2015, mostly by depositing checks made out to the city or the airport into an unauthorized bank account and later withdrawing the money for his personal use, according to the charges.
Dakota County District Judge Martha Simonett sentenced Burke to 90 days in jail and 10 years of probation. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $132,012.23.
He reserved his right to challenge the total amount of restitution at a hearing scheduled in September, the county attorney's office said.
"It is our intent to request that the city recover full restitution for the significant financial loss that occurred," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom in a statement.
Burke left South St. Paul in 2015 when the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) hired him as manager of the Anoka County-Blaine Airport and the Crystal Airport, two of the MAC's smaller "reliever" airports. The South St. Paul airport, known as Fleming Field, is owned by the city, not the MAC.
Burke is on unpaid suspension and his status is being reviewed, said MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan.
The scheme came to light in April 2016 after the city's accounting department received an overdraft notice for a Bremer Bank account, according to the charges.
South St. Paul police obtained the account's records with a warrant and found it had been opened by Burke in 2006 in the name of SSP Airport Fuel Co.
The city said the airport has no such division.
Investigators found that from 2009 to 2012, Burke diverted more than $38,650 from the city to his personal account. From 2012 to 2015, he continued to divert more than $60,000 into the account.
Burke withdrew about $111,529 from the account between 2009 and 2016, the charges say.