The former deputy city clerk for Ellisville has been arrested and charged with embezzlement following an investigation by the state auditor’s office.
Emerald Wuertz is facing accusations of altering customers’ payments to their water accounts to embezzle funds that were meant to pay their water bills.
Wuertz would then allegedly delete a customer’s cash payment after it was entered and take the money. Upon her arrest, Wuertz was served with a demand to repay $41,246.20 to the city.
“Thank you to the investigators on my team who work to uncover and stop the theft of taxpayer dollars around the state,” State Auditor Shad White explained. “We will continue to work with prosecutors, who decide when to charge an individual with a crime.”
Wuertz faces up to 10 years and $25,000 in fines if convicted.
A $50,000 surety bond covers Wuertz’s employment as the Ellisville deputy city clerk. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption.
Wuertz will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.