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Double billing case dismissed against Cass County deputy Karbowski

Robert Karbowski agreed Friday to write a letter of apology to Pike Bay Township and pay restitution for the hours he billed the township when he worked for Cass County and was also paid by Cass County.

He had been charged with submitting overlapping hour time sheets to claim pay for work during some of the same hours from the Cass County Sheriff's Department and Pike Bay Police Department.

Clearwater County Attorney Jeanine Brand, acting as special assistant attorney for Cass County, said Karbowski appeared in Beltrami County District Court today and submitted the check for $591.02 and the letter of apology.

Brand said the charges were dismissed in exchange for the restitution and apology.

"We have reached an agreement and will be placing it on the record at the hearing today," Brand said in an e-mail today.

Karbowski, 77, of Bena, was arraigned in December, and his trial had been scheduled for next week.

Karbowski's letter stated: "I apologize for the three errors I made while I was in your employ. As you know, as a result of those errors I was paid for 3.5 hours by Pike Bay when I was actually working for Cass County. I have paid back a salary overpayment of $66.50, plus the $8.58 in pension benefits. I want to make it absolutely clear to you that I did not do this intentionally, and I was unaware of this problem until charges were brought against me. I want to apologize to the (Pike Bay) board and all involved for the inconvenience. I have always had the best interest of Pike Bay Township in mind when I was employed, and I am sorry that I made these errors which caused us all so many problems."

The total amount of restitution covers the hours billed and the costs to the township for copying, postage, wages, and a special meeting associated with the charges.

Because of Karbowski's long career in local law enforcement, Pike Bay Police Chief Zeb Hemsworth referred the matter to the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office for investigation to prevent a conflict of interest. And Judge Richard Zimmerman, who presided at the arraignment, recused himself from the case.

Cass County Sheriff Randy Fisher said Karbowski was placed on administrative leave from the sheriff 's department during the legal proceedings.