County Theft Insurance Settlement Agreement

Post Date:12/14/2016 8:47 AM
December 13, 2016

Eau Claire County, WI – In the spring of 2015 former County Treasurer Larry Lokken and his assistant, former Deputy Treasurer Kay Onarheim, were arrested for the embezzlement of county funds. Subsequently, both were charged, convicted and are serving prison terms.

Today, County Board Chair Gregg Moore is pleased to announce that a settlement agreement has been reached with the county’s insurance carrier.

The Committee on Administration unanimously agreed to a one million dollar insurance settlement at its meeting on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Mr. Lokken and Ms. Onarheim have court-ordered restitution obligations of approximately $681,846.92. As of today, the County has received $19,328.91 from Ms. Onarheim and $16,676.00 from Mr. Lokken. Any future restitution payments, beginning January 1, 2017, paid by Mr. Lokken and Ms. Onarheim will be retained by the insurance company.

“This is a very positive outcome for Eau Claire County,” Mr. Moore said. “Recovering the stolen funds has been a high priority since we first became aware of the thefts. Given that most victims of embezzlement recover little of the stolen funds, the recovery of over one million dollars is very good news.”

Mr. Lokken and Ms. Onarheim were charged criminally for the thefts occurring between 2011 and 2013, which totaled $625,758. Further investigation by the City of Eau Claire Police Department indicated an additional $762,579 of funds were stolen between 2001 and 2010. As Chairman Moore stated at their sentencing hearings, they both committed the worst violation of public trust in the history of Eau Claire County.

The County has been implementing numerous changes after an independent review was performed by CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP to ensure that such theft and embezzlement won’t happen again in the future. County Administrator Kathryn Schauf says, “The County remains committed to improving processes and systems to ensure that we have strong internal controls.”

County Board Chair Moore emphasized that “Eau Claire County’s elected officials and employees strive every day to provide excellent services to the citizens of Eau Claire County and to earn the public’s trust and confidence. We are all deeply committed to the County’s mission ‘To provide quality, innovative and cost-effective services that safeguard and enhance the well-being of residents and resources.’”

For more information you may contact either Chairman Gregg Moore or Administrator Kathryn Schauf.
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