Former Blaine building official pleads guilty to misdemeanor

Blaine’s former chief building official pleaded guilty Thursday in Anoka County District Court to an amended misdemeanor misconduct by a public official charge after originally being charged with a gross misdemeanor count.

Gary Hagedorn, 58, Coon Rapids, had also been previously charged with a misdemeanor theft by swindle for taking money for an residential electrical inspection he was neither approved nor qualified to perform, which was dismissed Thursday by Judge Donald J. Venne.

Hagedorn was placed on unsupervised probation for a year and had a 30-day jail sentence stayed. But he has to pay a $200 fine and $400 in restitution to a manufactured home owner in the 3000 block of 87th Avenue N.E.

Hagedorn was a 16-year city of Blaine employee.

His last day of employment with the city was April 9. He did not speak during Thursday’s court appearance and sentencing.

The complaint filed against Hagedorn specifically states he took a $400 personal check from a manufactured home owner in the 3000 block of 87th Avenue N.E. last summer.

Hagedorn was not the approved electrical inspector for the city of Blaine.

He did not possess the requisite authority or necessary licensure or education to complete an inspection on behalf of the homeowner, the complaint states.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has been designated as the city of Blaine’s sole inspection authority for all electrical inspections performed within city limits.

Hagedorn was charged by summons March 29 and a special prosecutor, Jennifer Nodes with the Stillwater-based firm of Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff & Vierling, was appointed to try the case for the city.

According to the complaint, on July 19, 2010, city officials received a report regarding safety concerns at the residence on 87th Avenue N.E.

The residence was in complete disrepair due to an extensive remodel.

The case was assigned to the Blaine Housing and Building Departments for follow-up action.

A day later, housing department officials conducted a property inspection and determined that the site was unlivable. The manufactured home was posted with a “no occupancy” notice on July 26, 2010.

Officials told the homeowner he needed to obtain building permits so the majority of the renovations could be completed.

Hagedorn returned to the residence Aug. 5 and spoke to the homeowner about the work and the necessary building permits he would have to acquire to complete the renovations.

The man’s adult son was present during the discussion, the complaint states.

Hagedorn reviewed the work to be completed and discussed with the homeowner and his son the need for city permits before any work could be initiated.

He told both men he could complete the electrical inspection for the property for a fee less than that which would be assessed through the state inspector. Hagedorn said he had specific experience working with manufactured homes and quoted a fee of $400.

Three days later, the homeowner issued a $400 personal check to Hagedorn to cover the cost of the residential electrical inspection.

When interviewed by a detective, Hagedorn denied agreeing to completing an electrical inspection for the homeowner, but did acknowledge he did not have the authority or training or licensure to conduct such an inspection within the city.

Hagedorn admitted to receiving the personal funds from the man and accepting them as payment for work for a compliance inspection, but additionally admitted that no work had been completed on the residence since the initial walk-through of the home.

Tim Hennagir is at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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