Fence woman pleads not guilty to theft


Staff Writer

FLORENCE, Wis. – A Fence, Wis. woman has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges alleging that she embezzled thousands of dollars from the Florence Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the State Bank of Florence.

Kari J. Goral, 43, had been scheduled for a preliminary examination in Florence County Court on Wednesday. However, she elected to waive the preliminary examination.

As a result, Judge Michael H. Bloom bound her over for trial.

Goral’s attorney Lisa Brouillette then entered not guilty pleas on her client’s behalf.

Judge Bloom will schedule a final pre-trial date after he checks his calendar. He primarily presides over cases in Oneida County Court.

Attorney Jay Olivares, who is serving as special prosecutor in the case, said that a final pre-trial date within the next 30 days would be acceptable.

Due to a conflict of interest, Florence County District Attorney Douglas Drexler is not prosecuting the case.

Goral is currently free on a $1,000 signature bond.

She faces one felony count of theft in a business setting-more than $10,000 and one felony count of theft in a business setting-between $2,500 and $5,000.

If convicted on both counts, she could spend up to 13 and a half years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Goral is accused of embezzling more than $16,000 from the PTO between January 2011 and August 2012 while she was serving as the organization’s treasurer.

The complaint further alleges that Goral embezzled an additional $2,740 from the State Bank of Florence during the same time period while she was a bank employee.

Goral has since repaid all money to both parties.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.