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UPDATE: Woman sentenced for stealing from Columbus parish

UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 12:18 p.m.

The Attorney General's office says a woman has been sentenced for stealing from the St. Jerome Parish and School in Columbus.

Susan Droessler was placed on five years proration. It includes a one-year jail sentence, which includes 6 months in prison with no release privileges.

She must also pay $167,388.79 in restitution. She has already paid $100,000 in restitution in advance of her sentencing.

Droessler cannot have a job with financial responsibilities, and cannot have any contact with St. Jerome’s Parish and School.

Droessler was convicted of one count of felony theft in August.

She worked at St. Jerome Parish and School as a secretary and bookkeeper at the time of the crime.

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UPDATED Monday, August 19, 2013 --- 3:03 p.m.

The Attorney General's office says a Columbus woman has been convicted of stealing from the St. Jerome Parish and School in Columbus.

Susan Droessler was convicted of one count of felony theft. The judge accepted a guilty plea, and set sentencing for Oct. 15th.

Droessler worked at St. Jerome Parish and School as a secretary and bookkeeper.

Prospectors say she used church money to pay for personal expenses, including $5,000 at Wal-mart and more than $17,000 worth of bills.

The also say she used church health insurance to pay $88,000 in premiums, even though she wasn't eligible for benefits.

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UPDATED Friday, February 22, 2013 --- 6:42 p.m.

Press Release from the Attorney General's Office:

PORTAGE – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that Susan Droessler, of Columbus, Wisconsin, was bound over for trial today after waiving a preliminary hearing. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf. Droessler remains out of custody on a signature bond, and the case will be back in court for a status conference in approximately 90 days, in Columbia County Circuit Court. The exact date will be scheduled next week.

According to the Criminal Complaint, Droessler worked for a period of time as a secretary and bookkeeper for St. Jerome Parish and School in Columbus, Wisconsin. In January of 2010, a trustee on the parish finance council discovered that for a period of time dating back to at least the beginning of 2007, large sums of money had been misappropriated from the church and school. A subsequent investigation by the Columbus Police Department revealed that the defendant, who was able to write checks from the school and parish accounts, used parish and school funds to pay for various personal and family expenses, such as items totaling over $5,000 at Wal-Mart, over $17,000 for various credit card accounts in the defendant’s name, and numerous other expenses for items and bills. It is also alleged that the defendant enrolled herself in full-time health benefits through the parish, to which she was not entitled. It is believed that the total amount of premiums paid by the parish from August 2004 through August 2010 for the defendant’s family coverage, dental plan, and vision insurance was in excess of $88,000. Parish officials confirmed that the defendant was not entitled to receive these benefits, nor was she entitled to use any of the school funds for personal use.

The charge of felony theft in this case is a class G felony punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both.

A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State. This case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department.

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Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012 --- 12:19 p.m.

Press Release from the Attorney General's Office:

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Susan Droessler, of Columbus, Wisconsin, has been charged with one count of felony theft. An initial appearance has been scheduled for December 19, 2012, in Columbia County Circuit Court.

According to the Criminal Complaint, Droessler worked for a period of time as a secretary and bookkeeper for St. Jerome Parish and School in Columbus. In January of 2010, a trustee on the parish finance council discovered that for a period of time dating back to at least the beginning of 2007, large sums of money had been misappropriated from the church and school. A subsequent investigation by the Columbus Police Department revealed that the defendant, who was able to write checks from the school and parish accounts, used parish and school funds to pay for various personal and family expenses, such as items totaling more than $5,000 at Wal-Mart, more than $17,000 for various credit card accounts in the defendant’s name, and numerous other expenses for items and bills.

It is also alleged that the defendant enrolled herself in full-time health benefits through the parish, to which she was not entitled. It is believed that the total amount of premiums paid by the parish from August 2004 through August 2010 for the defendant’s family coverage, dental plan, and vision insurance was in excess of $88,000. Parish officials confirmed that the defendant was not entitled to receive these benefits, nor was she entitled to use any of the school funds for personal use.

The charge of felony theft in this case is a class G felony, punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both.

A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State. This case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department.


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