Dr. David Heine has been charged with burglary, theft and trespassing in connection with recent incidents at two Southern Minnesota high schools.
The burglary charges are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines. The theft and trespassing charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 fines.
Heine is a Mayo Health System physician and through a professional service agreement has served as Winneshiek Medical Center chief medical officer. He also served as medical director for Mabel Clinic and Green Lea Manor in Mabel, Minn.
The charges were filed Tuesday in Fillmore County District Court. Heine was charged with third-degree burglary, theft and trespassing for alleged crimes that occurred May 1 at Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, and the same charges were filed in connection with an alleged incident at Mabel-Canton High School in Mabel May 30.
Mayo Health System provided the following statement: "We have learned that charges have been filed against Dr. David Heine in connection with a legal matter in Minnesota. The information received indicated this did not involve any patient care activities. Dr. Heine is currently on medical leave, and will remain on leave until this situation is clarified."
While he is on leave, Mayo Health System physicians will be assuming his medical and administrative duties.
According to Winneshiek Medical Center's Public Relations Department, Winneshiek Medical Center is actively involved in collaborations with Mayo Health System regarding Heine's current and future status.
Winneshiek Medical Center will release a statement to the public as additional information is made available.
Heine is scheduled to appear in Fillmore County District Court Monday, July 16, at 9 a.m.
Investigators questioned the defendant at the Mabel High School May 30 after gathering information that led them to believe Heine, who is a doctor at the Mabel Clinic, was a possible suspect in thefts at the school.
Statements of probable cause accompanying the charges filed by Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson provide details of the alleged incidents. According to the statements, Heine works at the Mabel Clinic on Wednesdays and the thefts were occurring on Wednesdays.
Wednesday, May 30, a deputy investigator on surveillance dressed in street clothes observed Heine leave the clinic in his vehicle, drive past the Mabel-Canton High school and park in the parking lot. The investigator, who'd been following Heine in an unmarked car, entered the school, walked through the gymnasium full of chairs for an upcoming commencement ceremony and continued through the gym to the boys' locker room, where he found Heine.
The investigator said Heine asked if there was open gym and the law enforcement official responded he didn't know and noted the gym was full of chairs. Heine then asked the investigator if he knew where there was a phone and the investigator told him there might be one by the office. The investigator told Heine he was looking for a friend and Heine said he hadn't seen him.
The investigator reported Heine left the locker room not carrying anything and watched him ask someone setting up for the graduation ceremony where a phone was. Heine then walked down the hallway and the investigator left to inform another deputy what he'd seen.
The two deputies decided to speak to Heine and entered the school. They found him walking through the gym carrying two white plastic bags full of clothing. When they asked him what he was carrying, Heine said he'd called someone and asked if he could take items from the lost and found.
The deputy investigator identified himself byshowing Heine his badge and asking him to go outside with him.
After questioning whether Heine had actually called someone about the clothes, the deputies said Heine admitted that he'd lied.
When officers asked where he'd obtained the clothing, Heine led them to the boys' locker room to a table with clothing on it. The pile of clothing wasn't designated "lost and found," but Heine told the deputies there had been a lost and found sign there when he was at the school for open gym last winter.
According to the deputies, Heine indicated that he was embarrassed and didn't have permission to be in the school.
After he was asked to give the deputies a statement, Heine offered to meet with them at the Sheriff's Department in Fillmore County the next day with his attorney.
Deputies said the bags Heine was carrying contained pants, shorts, underwear, socks, a jersey and T-shirts.
The deputies questioned Mabel-Canton High School officials who said there is no open gym to the public at the school, that the table inside the boys' locker room where the clothes were piled is a lost and found for students only and that there has never been a "lost and found" sign above the table.
The school officials also said Heine did not have permission to be inside the school, and that his children are not enrolled in the school district.
Mabel-Canton students were asked if they'd noticed anything missing from lockers or the locker room and several said they had clothing missing with a total value of less than $250.
Earlier in the month, the Sheriff's Department had received a call from the Fillmore Central High School principal about some students who were missing items from the boys' locker room, including a black duffel bag. Six boys said they'd had personal items, with a total value of less than $250, taken from the boys' locker room.
The principal said school camera footage showed a man who was not carrying anything enter the boys' locker room at about 6:24 p.m., then leave the locker room with a black duffel bag.
A Fillmore County sheriff's deputy questioned a staff member of the school May 25, who said she was standing in the hallway outside the library at about 6 p.m. May 1 when she heard someone coming down the hallway.
She provided a description of the man and during a photo lineup, the staff member identified Heine as possibly being the person she had seen at the school.