The Minnesota Senate fired its controller Wednesday after she was charged this week with felony forgery in Hennepin County.
Trudi Ruzich, 46, of Blaine, had worked as controller since December 2016, Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman said in a statement. It’s a nonpartisan position related to management of financial operations of the Senate.
“These charges were not related to her employment at the Senate, and at this time, there is no evidence that Senate data or accounts were compromised,” Ludeman said in the statement. “Measures have been implemented to ensure the security and integrity of Senate information.”
Ruzich faces up to 10 years in prison or a $20,000 fine in connection with the alleged theft, according to a probable cause complaint.
The complaint alleges that Ruzich, who worked in the finance department of a Crystal medical clinic, wrote four checks to herself last year, totaling more than $10,000, that in records were listed as being paid to other parties.
Ruzich worked in the clinic’s finance department until January. Employees became suspicious after a phone call in February from the clinic’s insurance carrier explaining that the clinic’s insurance payment had not been made.
As Senate controller, Ruzich was responsible for providing “overall direction to all financial and budgeting policies and operational functions of the Senate,” according to a position description.
A message to Ruzich seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Star Tribune reporter Brandon Stahl contributed to this story.