State Crime and Court Roundup: Antigo woman sentenced after embezzling from her employerWisconsin News
-- An Antigo woman will be sentenced June 12th, after she admitted embezzling 576-thousand dollars from an employer.
ANTIGO - An Antigo woman will be sentenced June 12th, after she admitted embezzling $576,000 dollars from an employer. 44-year-old Susan Tatro pleaded guilty to two federal counts of wire fraud – and 28 other charges were dropped in a plea deal. Tatro was indicted by a grand jury last May on allegations that she defrauded the Waukesha Bearings plant in Antigo. Authorities said she wrote checks to herself from the company’s bank account, and took money from a petty-cash fund. A hearing will take place June third to decide how much Tatro will have to pay back. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
Former Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky says he feels vindicated, after a state agency dropped a complaint against him. A Waupun woman filed a complaint with the state’s Office of Lawyer Regulation last April. That was after Kaminsky allowed an insurance executive to plead no contest to driving an airplane while drunk, so he wouldn’t have an OWI conviction and breathe into a sobriety tube to start his car. Christine Ewerdt filed the complaint – and even though it went Kaminsky’s way, she told the Fond du Lac Reporter she was satisfied with the state’s detailed investigation. The case became a campaign issue last summer, and Kaminsky lost his re-election bid to Eric Toney in a primary. Kaminsky is now a private attorney in Fond du Lac County. He says he looks forward to continuing that practice quote, “without this weight on my shoulders.” He called the dismissal “bitter-sweet,” saying lies were told – and the public was the one that ultimately suffered.
The Green Bay Catholic Diocese has changed its mind about trying to clear itself of fraud allegations from two brothers molested by a former priest in the 1970’s. A judge in Appleton has approved a settlement that pays Todd-and-Troy Merryfield 700-thousand dollars. That’s the same amount awarded by a jury last year. The jurors said the church committed fraud by assigning The Reverend John Feeney to a church in Freedom, even though the diocese knew Feeney was a prior sex abuser. But the damage award was thrown out, after the church dug up evidence that one of the jurors was biased. A new trial had been set for May. The Merryfields are now in their 40’s. They said Feeney molested them in 1978. Feeney was criminally convicted, and he served eight years of a 15-year prison sentence. Green Bay Bishop David Ricken issued a statement yesterday apologizing to the Merryfields. They attorney, Mike Finnegan, praised his clients for coming forward and holding the church accountable. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the original jury award should have stood. And the group said the diocese probably spent much more than the settlement amount to keep fighting it after the trial.
A Hartford man is free on a signature bond, after being charged with causing 85-thousand-dollars in vandalism to a church. Joshua Wendt, who turns 22 tomorrow, appeared in Washington County Circuit Court yesterday on two felony charges of criminal damage to religious property. He’s due back in court April third. Wendt told officers he was out drinking with friends – but he didn’t remember anything from the early morning hours of last Friday when the vandalism took place. Prosecutors quoted Wendt as saying he woke up from a “crazy dream” in which he was breaking windows in a church and shooting a fire extinguisher. First Baptist Church in Hartford had damage to stained glass windows, plus various items inside.