ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Roland Amundson, under investigation for his handling of a trust account, resigned just as Hennepin County prosecutors planned to accuse him of criminal wrongdoing.
Prosecutors still expect to file criminal charges on Tuesday, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said late Monday. She declined further comment.
The appeals court received Amundson's resignation letter earlier in the day and sent it on to Gov. Jesse Ventura. The letter, dated Sunday, said simply, "Please accept my resignation."
The governor's spokesman, John Wodele, said Ventura would accept the resignation and thank the judge for his years of service. Wodele said there's no further need for Ventura to be involved in the matter.
A phone call to Amundson's Eden Prairie home was not answered.
In January, Amundson resigned as the overseer of a trust for a woman who is seriously developmentally disabled. The trust fund was set up for Amy Day by her father who died in 1989, according to a letter filed in county probate court by Dagmar Koch, the woman's service coordinator.
In 1994, the fund had a value of more than $651,000, according to court documents. By November 2000, the fund's value was a little more than $29,000.
The fund paid out about $150,000 to buy a house in Golden Valley for Day in 1995, but Koch said the remaining drop in the value of the fund requires explanation.
Amundson was a close friend of Day's father, Robert Day. At Robert Day's request, Amundson was the trustee for his daughter's account.
The fund's value fell from about $295,000 in July 1999 to $29,000 in November 2000, according to Koch's letter. Trustee accounts show $103,693 paid to conservator Karen Dove for her services, while Dove reported receiving only $10,700.
Koch also noted in an interview that trustee accounts showed $119,000 paid for repairs and maintenance to Day's house between December 1995 and November 2000. Koch, who has been with Day since 1997, said she can't recall any such repairs being made in that time.
Amundson was appointed to the Hennepin County District Court in 1988 and the Appeals Court in 1991. He has been on medical leave since Dec. 4.
Because Amundson's term wasn't up until 2004, the governor will appoint someone to fill the seat until that time. The new judge would then face election.
Ashley H. Grant may be reached at agrantap.org
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