Friday, July 16, 2010

Former Edgerton, Wisconsin PTA secretary admits guilt in theft

JANESVILLE -- The former secretary of the Edgerton Elementary School PTA will face a maximum of 10 years in prison when she is sentenced for the embezzlement of more than $11,000 from the organization.Kimberly J. Kienitz, 41, of 301 Randolph St., Edgerton, appeared in Rock County Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to felony theft. She was ordered released on a signature bond.Kienitz appeared in court wearing a T-shirt and Capri pants. She said she understood the charge and its maximum penalty. She is trying to settle with the PTA on a restitution amount.According to the criminal complaint:The president of the PTA called Edgerton police after receiving calls from a cookie dough vendor the PTA had hired. The vendor told the PTA president the bill for $10,500 in cookie dough had not been paid.The PTA president audited the PTA's finances and found several discrepancies. She called Kienitz, who claimed she stopped payment on the check to the cookie dough company.Blackhawk Community Credit Union, where the PTA has a checking account, told the PTA president no check had ever been issued to the cookie dough company.The PTA president began collecting banking documents from the credit union. She found five checks worth a total of about $6,100 written to Kienitz.Police interviewed Kienitz, who told police her family had been suffering from financial difficulties for several years.Kienitz admitted writing herself checks from the PTA to pay her mortgage, energy bills, food bills and other expenses. She estimated she had taken more than $11,000 from the PTA over two years.Kienitz had been the PTA's treasurer for four years. She presented a monthly treasurer's report to the PTA, but she was the only one to see financial records, the PTA president said after Kienitz's arrest.The PTA used to have a yearly audit done, but Kienitz quietly stopped ordering audits starting in 2007, the PTA president said.Kienitz is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9.

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