Holcomb court clerk sentenced on theft charges





A Deerfield woman has been sentenced to 12 months probation, with an underlying two-year jail sentence, on two counts of misdemeanor theft, after reaching a plea agreement with the Finney County Attorney's Office on Nov. 1.

Susan Marie Dreiling, 37, 612 Olive St., Deerfield, who was appointed as the city of Holcomb's court clerk in September 2004, was arrested Sept. 20 on an allegation of felony theft.

"She took that money from payments people made to the court for local city ordinance offenses and things like that, and it was investigated by the Finney County Sheriff's Office and Holcomb Police Department. They referred the case to our office, and we charged her with one count of felony theft based on the value of the property she stole," Finney County Prosecutor Brent Watson said.

The initial charge arose from allegations she had stolen $4,500 from the court over an almost eight-month time period from Dec. 2, 2011, to July 31.

Finney County Sheriff Kevin Bascue said Holcomb City Manager Robin Pena reported the theft on Aug. 23, at which point Dreiling was no longer employed with the city.

Because the crime involved a series of thefts over a long period of time rather than one incident, prosecutors agreed to allow Dreiling to plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor theft, Watson said. Misdemeanor theft is theft of property valued at less than $1,000.

As part of the plea agreement, Dreiling will avoid having to serve any the two-year jail sentence, as long as she doesn't violate the terms of her probation.

"She is required to pay back all of the money she stole within 60 days, and if it's not paid back, her probation will be revoked and she will go to jail," Watson said.

Dreiling did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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