According to State Auditor Shad White, Special Agents from his office have arrested Emerald Wuertz. Wuertz is the former Deputy City Clerk for Ellisville. She is charged with embezzlement.
Wuertz is accused of altering customers’ payments to their water accounts to embezzle funds meant to pay their water bills. Wuertz would allegedly delete a customer’s cash payment after it was entered and take the cash. Upon arrest, Wuertz was served with a demand to repay $41,246.20.
“Thank you to the investigators on my team who work to uncover and stop theft of taxpayer dollars around the state,” said White. “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. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
District Attorney Brad Thompson’s office will prosecute the case.
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.