(a) No official or head of any state department in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches, or any employee of a state department in those branches, may intentionally use money appropriated by law, or fees collected knowing that the use is for a purpose other than the purpose for which the money was appropriated. Unless a greater penalty is specified elsewhere in law, a person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A violation of paragraph (a) by a head of a department, or any state official, is cause for immediate removal of the official or head of a state department from the position held with the government of this state. A criminal conviction under paragraph (a) is not a prerequisite for removal. This paragraph does not apply to a judge, a constitutional officer, or a legislator, except as potential grounds for expulsion, impeachment, or recall in the manner specified in article IV, section 7, and article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution.