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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Theft From Rescue Squad, Stumbris Gets Prison Term

Amanda R. Stumbris, W9044 Palmer Road, Wausaukee, received a combined 8 year prison sentence followed by 12 years of extended supervision for embezzling more than $132,000 from the Wausaukee Rescue Squad between 2009 and 2012. Stumbris had been serving as the non-profit organization’s business manager/bookkeeper at the time.

Marinette County District Attorney Allen Brey had recommended two years of incarceration and two years extended supervision on the first count, theft in a Business Setting, $5000 to $10,000; and three years of incarceration and three years extended supervision on each of the remaining three counts, Theft in a Business Setting, over $10,000.

Each of the four counts was based upon the amount of money Stumbris stole in each calendar year: roughly $5,500 in 2009, $12,900 in 2010, $66,000 in 2011, and $47,000 in the first four and half months of 2012. The thefts were reported in May of 2012.

In recommending the state’s stance, Brey reiterated that Stumbris had violated the trust of the community, the members of the Rescue Squad and her family as well. Brey said the squad is still reeling from this lost money, which is approximately the cost of a new squad. The Rescue Squad continues to struggle to pay back-taxes and fines for Stumbris’ mismanagement; in fact, they had to borrow some money just to pay their bills.

“To say she made a mess is an understatement. The organization itself was at danger of closing,” Brey added. “This was not just one weak moment. She violated the trust the community placed in her over and over again, of her own free will.”

Defense Attorney Alf Langan asked Rescue Squad chairman Kevin Kwasnay to speak. Kwasnay talked about everything Stumbris did for the squad. He added, “We are not going to get paid back if she goes to prison.” He felt that she should, however, receive tons and tons of hours of community service.

Langan said that Stumbris knew she was going to pay for this. He talked about her early life and multiple family issues and how they had affected her. He added that Stumbris had compulsive gambling problem which led her to “borrow” from the Rescue Squad.

Langan said he doesn’t know why she took the money from the very organization she loved so much; however he did mention other emotional and psychological issues that will need treatment.

Langan suggested a sentence of no jail time and five years probation.

In a letter written to the court, Stumbris acknowledged that she let everyone down. Gambling addiction runs in her family and that she “never dreamed I could become so out of control.” She spoke of her work with the squad and helping people and how she let them down. She added that she was no longer in denial and is facing her demons, which will help her in the long run. She asked for the opportunity to make things right.

Prior to issuing sentence, Judge David Miron spoke of the importance of rescue squads. “You have helped the community and individuals, but you were stealing money out of their pockets at the same time. You have jeopardized the squad’s very existence.”

Miron went on to say that this was not just a momentary lapse of judgment. This took place over the course of four years. “Well over 100 times you made a conscious intentional act.” He spoke of how she was a trusted member of the rescue squad and you violated that trust.

Miron even noted that on the days in which she won money at the casino, gambling with the stolen funds, she never put any of it back into the rescue squad account.

In her favor, Miron noted that Stumbris had accepted responsibility, that she has low recidivism rate, and that she is a low risk to society. However, Miron continued, it comes down to a moral need for punishment, and protection of the community. The moral need for punishment is a prison sentence.

Deterrence is important in cases like this. Miron said, “How can someone steal over $120,000 without punishment? What does that teach the community?”

Miron also noted that Stumbris had made no effort on paying a dime of restitution since her arrest. The restitution was set at $132,505.23, which when the court costs and service fees are added, comes to $145,755.75.

After the sentencing, Stumbris was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff’s Department to await transportation to the Taycheedah Correctional Facility to serve out her sentence.

Following the hearing, Brey reiterated to the press that stealing from the rescue squad hurts the whole community. He added, “If you’re going to steal big money, expect big jail time.”


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