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Former Long Lake clerk admits to theft

MEGAN WILDER

FLORENCE, Wis. — A former Long Lake, Wis., town clerk pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing thousands of dollars from that municipality, less than a week before she was to go on trial.

Megan Wilder, 39, was convicted in Florence County Circuit Court of theft in a business setting more than $10,000 and theft in a business setting less than $100,000, both felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Wilder changed her Aug. 6 not guilty plea in exchange for dismissing a second count of theft in a business setting more than $10,000, as well as misconduct in public office, a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison. Both charges will be read into the record for restitution.

In addition, Florence County District Attorney Doug Drexler agreed he would be silent as to the specific sentence Wilder should serve.

According to the criminal complaint, Long Lake Town Treasurer Sandy Hodgson alerted Florence County Sheriff Dan Miller on June 20 she had discovered Wilder appeared to have used the town’s credit cards for personal use.

In a recorded interview, Wilder — elected as town clerk in December 2016 — reportedly admitted using the cards since February 2017 for her husband’s truck payments as well as buying craft supplies, Tupperware, Girl Scout cookies and children’s clothing, among other things.

Wilder admitted to $42,829.45 in fraudulent or suspicious charges, the complaint stated, though the final restitution amount has not been determined. Drexler contends the total is closer to $200,000, while defense attorney Roy Polich estimated $100,000.

Sentencing is set for March 17.

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