Tuttle’s lawyer: ‘We’re making progress on resolving the case’

Published 1:50 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

A potential plea agreement is in the works for former Freeborn County Commissioner Linda Tuttle, who is accused of diverting money from her title company to pursue an alleged gambling addiction.

Linda Tuttle

Tuttle’s lawyer, Kevin O’Connor Green, of Mankato, confirmed Friday by phone that he and the Steele County Attorney’s Office, who is prosecuting the case, are working on resolving the matter.

The case had been scheduled for an omnibus hearing Friday but was canceled earlier in the morning.

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Green said he and Steele County Attorney Dan McIntosh agreed it was not an appropriate use of the court’s time to have a hearing when no new issues had developed that needed to be litigated.

“We’re making progress on resolving the case,” Green said. “We do have some things in the works that we’re not prepared to talk about yet.”

Tuttle, 60, faces 12 counts of felony theft by swindle, along with one count of racketeering, after police executed a search warrant at her company, Albert Lea Abstract Co. in June. During the search they seized computers and scores of files in connection to the criminal investigation.

According to police, more than $1 million in missing funds has been reported from her company.

The case ultimately led to Tuttle’s resignation as 5th District county commissioner in July, with her last day in office Aug. 1. Because of the vacancy, a special election will be held March 15 to fill the position.

Green said Tuttle’s case is a very complex one, involving many parties.

He noted he and McIntosh told court administrators they hope to release more information by mid-December.

“I would like to resolve this in the next 30 to 45 days, try to get my client the subcertainty of what’s going to happen, and leave the victims with some certainty,” he said. “It’s like wrestling an octopus sometimes. It’s not a straight forward case when you have a financial set of transactions like this.”

He noted the next step in Tuttle’s case may be a continued omnibus, or it may be a plea hearing.

This most likely means the case will not go to trial.

Look to the Tribune for more information as it becomes available.