North Dakota's Supreme Court revived two felony charges Monday against a former state workers' compensation director, saying prosecutors may put him on trial for allegedly misspending more than $18,000 in agency funds.
Sandy Blunt was forced out as Workforce Safety and Insurance's director last December. He had been the agency's top executive since April 2004.
Blunt is accused of illegally spending $7,200 on bonuses for Jodi Bjornson, the top lawyer at Workforce Safety and Insurance; John Halvorson, the agency's chief of employer services; and Mark Armstrong, its communications director.
He also is charged with making $11,384 in unauthorized expenditures over a number of months for food, gifts, trinkets and other items for employee meetings and functions, and on meals for state legislators.
The money paid for grill rentals, trolley rides to a meeting at Fort Lincoln State Park, four cases of peppermint patties, Fourth of July holiday items, and candy and balloons for "Bring Your Kids to Work Day," among other items.
Prosecutors say the misspending on employee gifts is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Awarding the bonuses, they say, is a lesser felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.