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 Former CAB Business Mgr. Zurwell Gets Continuance

December 31, 2009 - The trial of a former Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation business manager charged with stealing money from the school district has been continued again.

Amanda Zurwell had been scheduled to stand trial in Henry Superior Court 1 Dec. 16 on six felony charges -- four counts of Class D theft and two counts of Class C forgery. However, at the request of her attorney, Scott Sirk, the trial was continued, the sixth such continuance since the case was originally filed over a year-and-a-half ago.

“There’s a lot of witnesses to go through,” Sirk told The Banner on Dec. 15. “I know it’s been going on a long time. We just need some additional time.” The office of the Henry County Prosecutor did not object to the latest request for a continuance.

The court rescheduled Zurwell’s jury trial for Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 8:30 a.m. A final pretrial conference is set for Friday, Jan. 23, at 11:30 a.m.

Zurwell worked as CAB’s business manager for just over four months, from September 2006 through mid-January 2007. Charges filed in April 2007 allege that she overpaid herself about $2,300 after taking over payroll duties at CAB, and that she forged two CAB checks payable to herself, one of which was cashed in the amount of $2,297.19.

The two forgery charges Zurwell faces each carry a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and fines of $10,000. The four theft charges could each result in up to three years in prison and $10,000 fines.

According to Deputy Prosecutor Joe Bergacs, Zurwell declined to accept a plea agreement that would have allowed her to avoid going to trial. While he did not disclose the terms of the deal Zurwell was offered, he did say he believed it had been fair.

Zurwell filed a small claims case against CAB last April alleging the school corporation owes her nearly $1,600 for “contract salary underpayment, unpaid cell phone stipend, and taxes erroneously held.” CAB countersued in May for $7,281, an amount that a special audit by State Board of Accounts said Zurwell owes CAB. Originally set for trial last May, attorneys for Zurwell and CAB have agreed to an indefinite continuance of this small claims, with no new trial date set.

In an unrelated case, Zurwell pleaded guilty last April in the Brown Circuit Court to stealing a $3,312 check in July 2006 from her former employer, Brown County Community Schools. She was sentenced for that theft in June to six months of home detention, one year of probation and 80 hours of community service.


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