- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - A grand jury has indicted the former director of the Corn Palace tourist attraction in Mitchell on a petty theft charge, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Mark Schilling, 49, resigned about a year ago at Mayor Ken Tracy’s request, after a state audit concluded he mishandled money. He told The Associated Press after his resignation that he didn’t think he had done anything wrong but had stepped down after 13 years as director because a change was in the city’s best interests. He did not immediately respond to an AP request Tuesday for comment on the indictment.

The misdemeanor charge against Schilling alleges he took gift cards belonging to the city. He could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/1Ew7mSk ).

Tracy said it was an “unfortunate” situation.

“I know that there was a very thorough investigation done by the investigators with the state, and I’ll trust that they did a proper job in this instance,” he said.



About 200,000 tourists each year visit the Corn Palace, which bills itself as the world’s only palace dedicated to the grain. Officials are wrapping up a $7.2 million renovation of the facility.

Late last year, Tracy chose Lakeview Golf Course clubhouse manager Dan Sabers to be the new Corn Palace manager.

___

Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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