Newspaper employee accused of theft

Published 9:43 am Friday, July 9, 2010

An employee of an area newspaper has been accused of stealing more than $25,000 from work.

Angela Kristine Schmitz, 35, who serves as the LeRoy Independent’s office manager, was charged with felony theft Thursday in Mower County court.

She is summoned to appear in court on July 29.

According to a criminal complaint, Schmitz stole the money by writing 12 different checks to herself between November 2009 and June.

The alleged theft was first detected by the newspaper’s owner on June 8, when he noticed a $4,000 overdraft notice on Schmitz’s desk. The notice was for a check written from the company’s account to the defendant.

The owner told authorities that only he and Schmitz have access to the company’s check-writing software.

Schmitz, who resides in Adams, was interviewed by authorities on June 14. She initially denied knowledge of the $4,000 check first spotted by her boss, but when reminded it was written to her and cashed by her, she claimed it was her regular payroll check, the complaint states.

However, upon further questioning about the string of checks, Schmitz admitted that she had been taking funds from the newspaper because money was tight due to bills and a recent divorce. She also said she knew what she had done was wrong, the complaint states.