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A former Onalaska police department records specialist who admitted embezzling about $70,000 will spend three years on probation.

Kari Neumann, 48, of Holmen will avoid spending six months in jail if she reimburses the city the stolen funds within one year under the sentence imposed Monday by Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice.

“I think the best thing that can come out of this is that the city of Onalaska get repaid its money,” he said. “I know the real punishment is the humiliation.”

Although Neumann estimated she took about $7,000 used to pay parking tickets and other citations for her living and medical expenses, an audit found $70,620 stolen from 2012 to 2016, according to police reports.

“It’s believed that it was going on for 10 years,” special prosecutor Tim Gaskell said. “To accumulate $70,000, this was an absolute ongoing crime spree.”

Neumann, who resigned from her position, pleaded guilty to felony theft in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Gaskell asked she serve time on probation and six months in jail. The crime had a financial impact on the city of Onalaska and emotional impact on her longtime colleagues, he said.

“While collar crime affects many people,” he said.

Neumann can use her retirement savings to reimburse the stolen funds within one month, defense attorney Tim Guth said. She apologized to the city and her former colleagues during her short statement to the court.

“I never meant to hurt anybody,” Neumann said.

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Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or 608-791-8224.

(11) comments

laxlax

This is ludacris!!! She received probation and has to "repay" the $70k? She should have to repay it plus interest AND received jail time. White collar crimes should be treated no different than blue collar crimes....or was this a white color crime!?

Cassandra

Ludacris is a hip-hop performer. Perhaps the word you're looking for is ludicrous.

RedHawk

They should put her in jail and force her to eat jail food, maybe she'll lose weight.

hrpufnstuf

Another white criminal!

Cassandra

"“I know the real punishment is the humiliation.”" Tell that to the people serving hard time for getting caught with pot.

Thinkfirst25

That's a really bad return on 70G.
What's also funny is she has a retirement savings account
she is taking the money out of to pay back 10% of the money. How do you think she was able to afford to save that money? Was it because she was making an extra 17G a year on the down low? Sign me up!

Onalaska Voter

She has to repay the entire $70,000 doesn't she?

kingman10

that's the way I read it, she repays the entire 70 thousand, no just 7 thousand.

Conservative Grandma

It is what it is. Be happy she is able to repay the $7,000. AND, put better controls in place so it doesn't happen again. It should never have gone on as long as it went on.

laxlax

Of course were all jumping for joy that she was earning retirement benefits while stealing from the job that was paying her these benefits!! Quite honestly, I would be willing to bet there was more money stolen and she hid it away....either way, good luck finding another job after that craptastic bone headed move!! SMH

kingman10

I find this sentence to be outrageous. Probation for a crime spree adding up to 71,000 and she only got probation! If I go and steal a loaf of bread or 100 bucks worth of merchandise from a local store i would get more than that. Yes white collar crime is treated differently. I wonder if this person was black or other minority what the sentence would be. Pays to have a good lawyer.

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