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Trial delayed in Lake Mills case

Sarah Stultz, Albert Lea Tribune –


LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The former business manager at Lake Mills Community School District accused of misusing more than $260,000 in school funds has had her trial delayed.

Winnebago County Attorney Adam Sauer said Christine Mathahs is next slated to appear in Winnebago County District Court on Feb. 7 for a pre-trial hearing. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Mathahs had next been scheduled to appear this month.

Mathahs faces six counts tied to the case: money laundering, first-degree theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, felonious misconduct in office, falsifying public documents and tampering with records.

Court documents allege she spent $262,719 inappropriately between May 21, 2005, and April 1, 2010. Records allege Mathahs would issue checks from the district bank account to credit card companies to pay her debts.

She resigned from her position in December 2010.

The charges came following the release in June of this year of a report from the Iowa state auditor. The auditor’s investigation came at the request of the Lake Mills school board.

The report also alleges improper spending by Mathahs for failing to decline in an Iowa Association of School Boards program to issue bonds when schools face deficits. As a result, the district had to pay back $8,171 in issuance fees and interest on bonds it didn’t need.

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