Small Town Minnesota Mayor Arrested on Theft, Assault Charges

Crosby, MN – An Iron Range mayor is facing a wide range of criminal charges after an investigation by his local department.

Crosby Mayor James J. Hunter was charged Monday in Crow Wing District Court with theft by swindle, receiving stolen goods, gambling fraud, and assault with a deadly weapon, reports the Star Tribune.

Hunter, 68, worked with his girlfriend Candice McCartan, 46, to swindle her husband out of nearly $90,000 according to police documents. Hunter and McCartan convinced her husband Tom to buy Hunter’s “Buy, Sell, Trade” convenience store, one of several small businesses Hunter owned, for $90,000. Tom McCartan signed legal documents he believed gave a $90,000 lien on his home to Hunter, in exchange for ownership of the convenience store in its entirety.

One week later Candice McCartan had left her husband and move in with Hunter. While consulting with an attorney in preparation for divorce proceedings, Tom McCartan re-examined the documents he had signed when purchasing the store and discovered he had in fact only purchased the store’s inventory, computers, cash register, and an ATM. Tom McCartan’s attorney estimated the total value of those items to be between $5,000 and $7,000 according to the police report.

The police investigation began in July of last year. Hunter was under investigation for much of the duration of his campaign for mayor, as well as his first two months in office.

Hunter is also facing a gambling fraud charge for paying people to collect his pulltab winnings using their identification.

The assault with a deadly weapon charge comes from an incident involving Candice McCartan. She allegedly was arguing with her son and during the altercation Hunter pulled a pistol and pointed it at him.

Upon searching Hunter’s home, convenience store, and vehicle, police found a total of 54 firearms according to the police report. This includes the weapon pointed at Candice McCartan’s son, and a semi-automatic pistol which had previously been reported stolen. The Crosby Police Department contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Candice McCartan also faces a charge of theft by swindle.

Anders Koskinen