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|FIRST ON WGIL: Bail Set in Monzo Theft Case, State's Attorney Files Motion to Withdraw
|POSTED 1:54pm 11/12/09 Knox County Recorder Paula Monzo has made her first court appearance since being arrested Wednesday on theft charges.
Monzo appeared in Knox County Circuit Court via video hookup Thursday afternoon. She faces a felony charge of theft and could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison if found guilty.
Monzo is accused, according to Galesburg Police reports, of writing about $3,500 dollars worth of checks from the account of the Knox County Democratic Central Committee over the past year, either to herself or to "cash."
Monzo was the committee's treasurer, and told police investigators she was having trouble paying bills and had a cocaine habit, but also claims she's paid about a thousand dollars of what she took back.
Party Chair Norm Winick told WGIL he was first alerted to alleged suspicious activity in the account Tuesday night.
Monzo asked for a public defender during the appearance and was granted one, and circuit Judge Paul Mangieri set bond at $10,000, but Monzo said she thought she could post the required one-thousand dollars.
Monzo will make her first court appearance with counsel Friday at 11:00am.
State's Attorney John Pepmeyer has filed a motion to withdraw from the case, and have a special prosecutor appointed instead. Mangieri said that would be taken up Friday.
Meantime, County Public Information Officer Gary Tomlin issued a statement about 24 hours after the arrest saying it happened, and that there are so far no indications county funds have been mishandled by Monzo. Tomlin says it will be up to the Knox County Board to decide if audits are necessary, but says they're, "probable."
(Paula Monzo's booking photo courtesy of the Knox County Sheriff's Department)
|11 12 09 by Newsroom
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