Ex-employee accused of using forged parking permit

By Janice Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A former Olmsted County probation officer faces a felony charge after being accused of forging a temporary disability permit to park at the city-county Government Center.

Dana Leah Phenix, 34, told police she was just being "lazy" in using the forged parking permit, according to the criminal complaint. A summons has been issued for her to appear in court May 4 on the aggravated forgery charge.

At the time of the allegations, she was a probation officer with Olmsted County community corrections. She has been terminated, according to Dale Ignatius, associate director of county’s human resources department.


The issue arose on March 2 when a parking control officer monitoring expired meters in the government center parking lot noticed the vehicle pull into a parking space. It had a 30-day temporary disability permit on the dashboard. The driver, later identified as Phenix, and a passenger got out and walked into the government center. The defendant was wearing high heels, walking at a normal pace and carrying items, according to the complaint.

The parking officer said the permit appeared to be an altered photocopy of an original document. It did not have a date stamp and was not signed by a deputy registrar. The permit indicated it was valid from Feb. 26 through April 26. The parking officer recalled ticketing the vehicle on Feb. 25 for an expired temporary disability permit.

The parking officer determined the permit and driver’s license were not on file, and Phenix’s husband didn’t have a disability permit. The number on the permit was traced to a department of vehicle services office in Red Wing. The officer contacted the office and learned the permit was a forgery.

The parking officer told a police sergeant, who saw the same vehicle on March 13 at an expired meter in the parking lot. He met with Phenix, who said she found the original permit by the trash, photocopied it and used it, according to the complaint.

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