McLeod’s felony charges to be dropped

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Theft charges against a former University of Minnesota-Duluth athletics director will be dropped if he has no brushes with the law during the next year, under a deal agreed upon by the prosecution and defense.
Lawyers for both sides asked a St. Louis County District judge Wednesday to put Bruce McLeod into a program for first-time offenders.
McLeod’s attorney, Steve Pihlaja, said the program was designed for people without a past criminal record and it should not be seen as preferential treatment.
McLeod had been charged with three counts of felony theft in connection with a $6,000 check drawn on the university’s golf and tennis checking account in September 1993.
The university gave six questionable checks to the Duluth Police Department. That came after an internal audit of the athletics department in late August.
The other five checks were viewed, but no charges could be filed in connection with those because of a three-year statute of limitations.
McLeod resigned nine days before the school released its audit.
The audit showed he couldn’t account for $18,000 in transactions involving athletics department funds.
Problems in the university’s athletics programs were exposed when the university cut wrestling and fired its coach, triggered a probe by former wrestlers. That lead to the revelation this summer of the misuse of donations and public funds.