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Ex-village clerk in Cissna Park charged with theft of over $100,000

Cissna Park’s former longtime village clerk and bookkeeper/collector was released from the Iroquois County Jail on Thursday after making her first court appearance in connection with the alleged theft of more than $100,000 in village funds.

In court Thursday afternoon, public defender Dale Strough of Watseka was appointed to represent Siebert.
Meanwhile, Judge Gordon Lustfeldt recused himself from the case, which was re-assigned to Kankakee County Judge James B. Kinzer.

Siebert posted $10,000 cash — 10 percent of her $100,000 bond — to be released from jail Thursday afternoon. She was ordered to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Friday for the setting of arraignment.
Hagen said in early October that the sheriff’s office was asked by Cissna Park officials to investigate “some of the financial matters of the village” after Siebert was fired in September as collector and bookkeeper.

The village board voted during a Sept. 17 meeting to dismiss Siebert as collector/bookkeeper. During the same meeting, Siebert resigned as village clerk, board President Rick Baier said.

In October, Valerie Dannehl was appointed to fill the remainder of Siebert’s term as village clerk, which expires April 30, 2013. Dannehl, 51, a lifelong Cissna Park resident, is employed as a bookkeeper at the Cissna Park State Bank and is a former employee of the Iroquois County Treasurer’s Office.

Also in October, Edye Bookwalter of Hoopeston was hired as interim bookkeeper and Kathy Kosik as temporary part-time collector.

The board then hired Jennifer Redeker of Cissna Park on Nov. 19 to take over the collector position. Kosik is currently training Redeker for the job, Baier said.

Hagen said the investigation determined that since 2006, Siebert allegedly stole “in excess of $100,000” in village funds through the use of a village-owned credit card, village checks and cash.

contributed by The Paxton Record

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