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Former Mandan, Morton commissioner facing felony charges

Former Mandan, Morton commissioner facing felony charges

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A Bismarck man who has served on Mandan city and Morton County commissions has been charged with two felonies for allegedly paying bills using money from the account of a 92-year-old woman.

Robert Christensen, 64, is charged in Burleigh County with unauthorized use of personal identifying information and theft. The more serious charge carries a possible 10-year prison sentence. A co-defendant in the case, 36-year-old Christopher Shaver, of Bismarck, faces the same charges.

Christensen from 2017-20 allegedly made seven Montana-Dakota Utilities payments from the woman’s account through electronic means, according to a police affidavit. The transactions totaled nearly $2,000. The charges are listed in Christensen’s MDU history, as is the name of the woman’s bank, authorities said.

Shaver took more than $1,300 from the woman’s account in a similar manner, police say.

Authorities did not say who the woman was or what her relationship is to Christensen and Shaver.

Christensen admitted to police that he used the woman’s account three times, according to the affidavit. The men paid back “all the money they had borrowed from her,” Shaver told police, adding that she had given them permission to use it.

Christensen served on the Mandan City Commission from 1991-96. He was a county commissioner from 1999-2006. He ran unsuccessfully for Mandan School Board in 2008.

Attorneys for Christensen and Shaver -- William Thomason and James Loraas, respectively -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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