Judge rejects worker’s malicious prosecution claim

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Cerro Gordo County employee who claimed she was wrongly prosecuted on false allegations that she tampered with timecards to boost her pay.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leonard Strand ruled Tuesday that probable cause existed to charge Debra Perzynski with second-degree theft in 2010, even if the case was later dismissed for lack of evidence. He says it’s easy and fair in hindsight to be critical of the decision to charge Perzynski, but that she failed to prove claims of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

Perzynski was charged after officials alleged she had repeatedly altered her timecards, resulting in $1,600 in overpayments. A judge dismissed the charge after ruling there was no proof she received compensation for time she did not work.

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