Zieler tax office embezzlement case to go to trial

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Zieler was indicted following a grand jury hearing in March of this year on charges of embezzlement by a local officer/employee, a felony. She is accused of taking $47,744 while she was an employee with the Polk County Tax Office ending in 2006.

If Zieler pleads not guilty to the charges, she will be the first defendant in a Polk embezzlement case to do so since 2000. Defendants in the several other embezzlement cases in Polk County over the past nine years have pled guilty.

The county has been the victim of several embezzlement cases since 2000, including charges involving the Polk County Register of Deeds Office, another case involving the tax office and other cases involving the school system and the sheriff&squo;s office. All offenders have pled guilty and received probation sentencing and restitution.

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Zieler&squo;s indictment took approximately two and a half years, with &dquo;fraudulent transactions&dquo; found in tax office records in 2006.

She was no longer employed by the county once the transactions were found and made public.

Since 2006, the tax office has taken measures for better security. The county has installed security cameras specifically in the tax office as well as new procedures for its monetary transactions. Another tax office embezzlement conviction was settled in 2002.