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Lutovsky pleads in middle school theft

Appears by phone from Florida

A woman charged with three felony counts of theft in connection with a middle school parent's fund, a Hudson buster club and a private firm entered pleas in St. Croix County Circuit Court Friday.

Brenda L. Lutovsky, 42, pleaded innocent to three felony counts of theft in a business setting by telephone from Florida during the arraignment hearing July 6. Prosecutor Frank Collins requested a status and possible plea hearing within six weeks as negotiations were continuing.

Defense Attorney Steve Meshbesher said his client was making an effort to pay restitution. "My office has received $5,000," he said acknowledging it wasn't nearly enough but a sincere effort was underway.

The criminal complaint charged Lutovsky with allegedly taking more than $37,000 including $16,783 from the Hudson Middle School Parent Advisory Council; $9,039 from the Hudson Swim and Dive Boosters organization and $11,224 from Pace Appraisals.

Lutovsky was hired as a bookkeeper for Chuck Pace in November 2010 at his town of Hudson business. Pace was one of few spectators in the courtroom for Lutovsky's arraignment.

She allegedly used a Pace company credit card for her own use, including a pet care business she operated.

The criminal complaint said Lutovsky, aka Brenda Schoenherr, was treasurer of the Middle School Parent Advisory Council from Sept. 1, 2010, through March 16, 2011. She was terminated after allegedly diverting money from the fund for her own use.

She also served as treasurer for the Swim and Dive Boosters between August 2008 and November 2010 and allegedly signed unauthorized checks made out to cash, the complaint said.