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Judge removes St. Joseph clerk-treasurer from office

St. Croix County Circuit Judge Scott Needham on Wednesday ordered Mary E. Stanley permanently removed as the town of St. Joseph's clerk-treasurer.

Needham granted the town's motion for a summary judgment in the case after Stanley reportedly failed to file a written response to the town's petition to have her removed.

The motion hearing was postponed to Wednesday to give Stanley time to find an attorney, but she appeared in court without one.

On Aug. 23, Needham temporarily barred Stanley from performing any duties as town clerk-treasurer after St. Joseph Town Chairman Dan Gavin filed a complaint alleging that Stanley had made an unauthorized purchase and failed to perform duties.

Stanley was accused of using the town credit card to buy a laptop computer without the town board's permission. The complaint alleged that she also failed to provide minutes of town board meetings, refused to attend and serve as clerk at meetings, and refused to cooperate with an audit of town financial records.

In a later court filing, Stanley was accused of misappropriating town funds. Attorney Catherine Munkittrick, representing the town board, said Stanley "repeatedly and flagrantly stole public funds for her own personal use," beginning a week after taking office.

Stanley was elected to office last April, replacing long-time St. Joseph Clerk-Treasure Marie Schmit, who retired.

Munkittrick represented the town in Wednesday's hearing. Town Chairman Gavin was also present.

The court clerk's notes of the hearing indicate that Munkittrick asked for a default judgment since Stanley had failed to provide a written answer to the town's motion.

The notes say Stanley opposed the default judgment and made a statement to Judge Needham.

Needham is reported to have addressed criminal charges Stanley may still face. She has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing at this time.

Needham made his order for Stanley's removal from office effective immediately.

The court clerk's notes indicate that Munkittrick talked about the process of selecting a new clerk-treasurer. The judge asked Munkittrick to submit information and nominations of potential candidates for the position to him no later than Monday, Nov. 21.