More than three years after the crime was discovered, a case involving $172,000 in cash being stolen from Mayo Clinic's parking ramps finally reached a conclusion today
Olmsted County Judge Jacob Allen sentenced former Mayo Clinic parking manager Timothy Paul Stafford to 60 days in jail, 10 years of probation and to pay $100,000 in restitution for pocketing thousands in cash that he was supposed to deposit for months in 2015 and 2016.
Over a Zoom call, the 48-year-old Stafford was told by the judge that while he committed a crime without an individual victim, he breached the trust of his employer and he knew his actions were wrong.
Stafford was charged with 12 felony counts for taking the cash during his time as the parking and transportation supervisor in charge of Mayo Clinic’s parking lots and ramps.
He pleaded guilty in August 2019 to two counts of theft by swindle of more than $35,000, and one count of theft — Divert Corporate Property of more than $5,000. The other nine counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Allen said he had thought a lot about whether to sentence Stafford to jail time and had decided that 60 days in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center was warranted over the defense’s proposal of 100 days of electronic monitoring.
“I see jail time as a sort of deterrent … White collar crime is just as wrong as other crime,” the judge said as Stafford wiped his eyes while watching the proceedings on his phone.
The judge also sentenced Stafford to 100 hours of community service without the option of being satisfied with a financial payment, as is often offered.
“I want you to do the work service,” said Allen. “With this breach of trust … I think it is important that you give back to the community.”
According to the criminal complaint, the thefts occurred from September 2015 to March 2016. On Jan 27, employees told supervisors that they suspected Stafford "… was removing large denomination bills from the daily parking booth deposits," according to the complaint. Mayo Clinic investigated and found shortages in 2015 of $49,122.02 for September, $52,452.69 for October, $40,411.98 in November and $19,688.31 in December. While no shortages were discovered in January and February of 2016, a shortage of $9,447.96 was found in March 2016.
When confronted, Stafford denied the thefts. Mayo Clinic fired him in April 2016. He had worked for Mayo Clinic for 14 years.
After discovering the thefts and firing Stafford, Mayo Clinic did not report it to the Rochester Police Department and instead turned the case over to the FBI. Stafford was not arrested and remained living free in Rochester during the subsequent FBI investigation.
After almost two years, the FBI opted to not pursue a case against Stafford and delivered the investigation materials to the Rochester Police in December 2018. He was charged on Feb. 27, 2019.