Steege pleads not guilty to theft
A former business manager for the Mid-Prairie School District recently pleaded not guilty to the allegation that she made unauthorized charges on the Mid-Prairie credit card.
On July 25, Cindy Steege, 41, of North Liberty, entered a plea of not guilty to charges of second-degree theft, a Class D felony, in a written arraignment. Court documents also showed that she waived her right to a speedy trial. A court document filed by Steege’s attorney, J. Dean Keegan of Iowa City, also showed she waived an arraignment and has filed a motion for discovery. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 14 and a trial is scheduled for Nov. 25.
Steege remains free on her own recognizance. While she is not allowed to leave the state as part of the release agreement, the court records showed that she was granted two waivers allowing her to attend her son’s basketball tournaments in other states.
Investigator Chad Ellis said in a previous interview that the charge against Steege stems from personal charges found on the credit card that were made throughout the county and in other counties. The state alleges that Steege made about $8,000 in unauthorized purchases on the card. Steege was arrested on July 9.
According to a press release issued by the Mid-Prairie School District, in late June school officials became aware of possible financial irregularities and began an internal investigation. District officials then notified the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on June 30 to continue the investigation.
Steege was hired in 2009 as Mid-Prairie School District’s assistant business manager, being promoted to business manager in 2010. She resigned form the school district on June 12 to take a job in Solon. Between July 2010 and July 2013 she served as the shared business manager with the Keota School District. Keota School District will be included in the state investigation.