Emerald Wuertz, the former Deputy City Clerk for Ellisville, was arrested on embezzlement charges, announced State Auditor Shad White on Thursday.
Wuertz allegedly manipulated water account payments, erasing cash payments from the system and pocketing the money. The sum misappropriated is estimated at $41,246.20, which Wuertz has been asked to repay.
State Auditor Shad White expressed gratitude to his investigative team for their diligent efforts in safeguarding taxpayer funds. He emphasized the office’s continued commitment to working with prosecutors.
If convicted, Wuertz could face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines of $25,000. It’s essential to note that individuals arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
District Attorney Brad Thompson will be responsible for prosecuting the case.
Wuertz’s position as the Deputy City Clerk was covered by a $50,000 surety bond, which acts like insurance to shield taxpayers from potential corrupt actions. Despite this bond, Wuertz remains accountable for the full restitution amount in addition to any criminal consequences.
Citizens are encouraged to report any suspected fraud to the Auditor’s office through their website or via a dedicated hotline.See a typo? Report it here.