REPORT: Village Clerk admits to taking money from Bellevue Court

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — The Brown County Circuit Court has released more information regarding the felony charges against a previous Village of Bellevue Court Clerk.

According to the complaint, the Brown County Sheriff’s Department was asked to investigate an incident regarding Dawn Kreuser after her termination as the Village of Bellevue Court Clerk. Officials say they were called in after “some inconsistencies were found” in court records.

Officials were first asked to investigate on October 18, 2018.

The report says the current Bellevue Municipal Court Clerk, Pamela Cornelius, says Kreuser “told her she was let go because she was leaving work during the day without punching out.”

Cornelius told officials there were some files in their court software database, TIPS, which appeared without fine amounts:

“Cornelius stated that when she started, she looked at all of the files and compared the files to what was TIPS. Cornelius stated she came across a file that was marked ‘paid’ but the fine amount in TIPS was set at zero.

Criminal complaint

In the report, Cornelius went on to say she did not find the necessary documentation regarding whether the fine had been paid or adjusted.

She went on to say “there should have been documentation as to why the citation was ‘zeroed out’ as there was not an indication that the fine had been paid or the citation was dismissed.”

According to the report, Cornelius told officials there were at least two incidences in which citation payments were altered.

“Cornelius showed [officials] a citation issued to [a woman], which showed the citation amount was $98.80 and [the woman] paid $100.00. TIPS did not show payment of the citation and Cornelius did not show record of the payment. Cornelius then showed a citation issued to [a man], who came in to pay an ambulance bill. [The man] told Cornelius he already paid his citation amount. Clerk records indicated that Kreuser changed the amount from $98.80 to $0 and records showed the citation was dismissed so [the man] should not have made any payment and if he did, she did not know where the money ended up,” according to the criminal complaint.

The report goes on to say Cornelius “was also unable to find the court’s receipt book, which contained handwritten receipts.”

Cornelius told officials “Krueser would issue handwritten receipts to people when she claimed TIPS would ‘jam up.'”

The criminal complaint says handwritten receipts are “a violation of their policy and that receipts are supposed to be electronic.” Cornelius went on to say “she had yet to encounter a problem with TIPS.”

According to the report, officials met with Cornelius again on November 8, 2018.

During this second visit, Cornelius explained again receipts for paid citations are provided throughout TIPS. She also explained how money is managed during the day:

“…when the clerk collects citation money during the day, they are expected to put the money into a blue envelope,” which is collected at the end of the day and taken “to the Village offices.”

When officials met with Cornelius again in January 2019, Cornelius “provided [officials] with a stack of citations she felt may require follow up.”

According to the report, “Cornelius’ calculations indicated that possibly $15,320.05 was missing.”

The report goes on to outlines 26 citations submitted by Cornelius which “she felt may require follow up.”

Of the 26 citations, the largest reported loss was $321.00.

In November, officials spoke with Kreuser about the discrepancies.

According to the report, an investigator went over two citations in which fine amounts were altered and told Kreuser they were “going to keep going on with these examples.”

After this, the complaint says “Kreuser became noticeably more upset and seemed nervous.”

Officials say Kreuser then said “‘alright'” and “‘I took the money.'”

Kreuser went on to say she began taking money in 2018, according to the report.

She told officials it began “one day [when] somebody came in to court to pay a fine and the [TIP] system was down so she wrote a handwritten receipt.”

The report says Kreuser told an officer “the thefts occurred when she issued a handwritten receipt.”

When asked where the money went, Kreuser said “it ‘went into my pocket’ and that she later spent it.”

According to the complaint, Kreuser told investigators “her heart told her ‘not to do it.'”

The document says Kreuser explained she would “correct” the citation amount “in the system, and Kreuser stated sometimes she would put some of the money in it or sometimes none of it.”

In a written statement included in the report, Kreuser says she believes she began taking money “in April of 2018.”

She continued to say “Between April of 2018 and July of 2018 I took cash from fine amounts paid to the court 6 or 7 times.”

In total, Kreuser says she believes she “took around $1,000” between April and July.

According to the report, officials spoke with Kreuser again in April 2019, notifying her the “had cash receipts which indicated the theft of money from Bellevue may have started as early as May 2017.”

The complaint goes on to say the “total amounts of money stolen differed quite a bit – Kreuser thought it was $1,000, [an investigator]’s calculations were closer to $4,400 and the Bellevue Court estimated it could be close to $15,000.”

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access says Kreuser will make her initial appearance on June 28 at 8:30 a.m. 

Area court clerk facing felony charges

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — A Green Bay area municipal court clerk is facing three felonies, according to the Wisconsin Circuit Court System. 

Case details say 54-year-old Dawn Kreuser of Green Bay is facing one count of Theft-Business Setting>$2500-$5000 and two counts of Misconduct/Office-Fraud/Record/Statement. 

According to the Town of Scott, Kreuser is a Brown County municipal court clerk

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access says Kreuser will make her initial appearance on June 28 at 8:30 a.m. 

Local 5 has reached out to the District Attorney’s office for more information and will continue to update this story as information becomes available. 

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