The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood Township chairman responds to plea deal statements

 

March 29, 2018



By RALPH ANSAMI

ransami@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood — Ironwood Township Chairman Steve Boyd responded Wednesday to some statements that were made at a court plea hearing for former township treasurer Jyl Olson-DeRosso.

She entered guilty or no contest pleas in Gogebic County Circuit Court Tuesday to 10 charges regarding the embezzlement and forgery of township funds.

Boyd said while it was originally alleged Olson-DeRosso took $196,862 from two township funds over a five-year period, as indicated in a Tuesday Daily Globe story, subsequent investigations on the township’s behalf have turned up a much higher figure.

Olson-DeRosso indicated to the judge Tuesday the amount was between $100,000 and $200,000.

“Since (the original charges), substantially more has been shown, from a variety of sources and from multiple years,” Boyd said.

Judge Michael Pope set a restitution hearing for 9 a.m. on May 1, when the exact amount of restitution to be determined by the judge will be the topic.

Sentencing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on May 14.

Boyd also clarified a statement the defendant made in court about no one else monitoring the township’s financial accounts.

“This could easily be misunderstood by others to imply there were no audits or financial oversight, which actually occurred at every (town board) meeting,” Boyd said.

“Ms. Olson-DeRosso admitted during the proceeding that she used the tax fund, along with the trust and agency fund, to launder funds. This is precisely because under Michigan law, only the township treasurer has access and control over those two funds,” Boyd said.

“Therefore, there can be no oversight and this is the loophole she exploited. Her statement should more accurately read, ‘She said she used the Tax Fund and Trust Agency Fund because no one else could monitor those accounts when she was committing the crimes,’” Boyd said.

Olson-DeRosso, 47, entered guilty pleas to five counts of forgery, embezzlement by a public official, using public money for her own use and diversion of taxes or public money by a public official. She entered no contest pleas to refusing to turn over records to a successor and removal and destruction of public records.

The charges stem from 2011 to November 2016.

She is free on a $10,000 cash bond.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

 
 

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