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MADISON — Former Lake Geneva Street Department employees Ronald Carstensen and Donald Hoeft appeared in court today for their initial appearances in Walworth County. The Honorable David M. Reddy set a $10,000 signature bond for each defendant with conditions that they have no contact with each other or certain witnesses and stay away from the Lake Geneva Street Department. A preliminary hearing for both defendants is scheduled for September 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm before Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Phillip A. Koss.
According to the criminal complaint, Ronald Carstensen is alleged to have given away more than $25,000 worth of City of Lake Geneva salt/sand to private companies between 2009 and 2013 while working as the City’s Street Department Superintendent. Carstensen also is charged with retaining possession of a sales tax refund check meant for the City.
Former Lake Geneva Street Department working foreman Donald Hoeft is charged with failing to give the City of Lake Geneva proceeds from recycling city oil and scrap metal. According to the complaint, Hoeft is alleged to have sent city employees on scrap metal runs in city vehicles on work time. Hoeft also is charged with falsely reporting the community service hours that a probationer worked for the Street Department.
While the defendants have been charged in criminal complaints, they are presumed innocent and the state will need to prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The charges are a result of an investigation by the Lake Geneva Police Department and the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant Attorney General Annie Jay represents the state in these matters.
The criminal complaints can be found at the following links: