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Ex-Grygla postmaster denies stealing on the job

WARREN -- The former postmaster in the northwestern Minnesota town of Grygla will be sentenced next month on a charge of stealing from the post office where she worked.

Ardeene Hagen entered an Alford plea last week, which has the legal effect of a guilty plea. She did not admit guilt, but conceded that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her. She was accused of taking about $1,800.

Hagen tells the Grand Forks Herald she didn't do it and that she'll be sentenced for a crime she didn't commit. She blames poor paperwork on her part. And says she couldn't afford to fight the charges.

She's scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2 in Marshall County District Court.

Hagen worked for the post office for about 20 years and became Grygla's postmaster in 1997. She resigned last May.