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Former Mapleview employee pleads not guilty

A former clerk-treasurer for Mapleview pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mower County District Court to charges she embezzled funds while employed by the city.

Dawn Marie Mueller, 46, of rural Austin, entered the pleas before Judge Fred Wellmann.

She was conditionally released on her own recognizance.

The charges include embezzlement of public funds, a felony; as well as felony theft by check; two counts of felony theft; and two counts of misconduct of a public officer or employee, a gross misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaint, Mueller is alleged to have embezzled funds, issued herself duplicate payroll checks and mishandled fire relief funds while employed as clerk-treasurer by the city of Mapleview.


She worked in that capacity from 1995 to 2008.

Mueller was recently employed part-time as a deputy auditor-treasurer for Mower County. Calls to the human resources department regarding her employment with the county were not returned Thursday.

As part of Mueller's conditions of release Thursday, prosecutor Jennifer Dunn-Foster requested Mueller not be allowed to work in any fiduciary capacity.

Defense attorney Lawrence Maus told the court that Mueller is employed by Red Rock Township in a fiduciary capacity, but he didn't elaborate on her position.

"Red Rock Township is familiar with the charges pending against my client," Maus said.

The condition was revised to prohibit Mueller from working in a fiduciary capacity with any individual.

The charges against Mueller were filed in August, after nearly two years of questions.

In September 2008, the current clerk-treasurer of Mapleview notified Mueller that there was no money in the city's general fund to cover outstanding bills, necessitating a transfer of money from savings and investments into the general fund.


The transfer left the city with an accounts payable of nearly $78,000 at the end of 2008.

Mapleview Police Chief Forrest Miller was also made aware of the shortfall. He later determined that in addition to the city's inability to pay bills, no transfers had been made to the Fire Relief Association from 2005 to 2007.

The complaint also alleges Mueller made personal purchases using city funds. She maintained she had repaid the city, but no repayments could be verified.

Mueller is also accused of issuing herself more than $800 in unearned paychecks.

Neither law enforcement nor Mapleview officials would comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Mueller's next court appearance is set for April 1.

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