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Leber
July 22, 2014 | 05:00 PM
Robert Leber, a former Lake Geneva Utility Commission employee, was charged with misdemeanor theft on July 16 by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office.

His initial appearance in Walworth County Circuit Court is scheduled for July 23.

According to the complaint, Leber, 51, took a trailer from the lot at the Lake Geneva Street Department, 1065 Carey St., and kept it on his property in the town of Bloomfield without permission.

The trailer belonged to a private citizen who was allowed to store his trailer on city property.

Leber was arrested in February and was later released without bond.

The trailer, valued at $730, was reported stolen from the street department’s locked and secured storage lot sometime in November 2012, by its owner, identified in the criminal complaint as Robert Meyerhofer.

In the criminal complaint, Meyerhofer said he reported the theft to Lake Geneva Police Sgt. Russ Carstensen, the twin brother of the former head of the street department, in November 2012 and believed that Carstensen was following up on his report.

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Meyerhofer told police he moved the trailer to the street department in June 2012 with the permission of former street department Superintendent Ron Carstensen, and he gave no one permission to remove the trailer.

An anonymous caller later reported to police that he saw the trailer in the yard of a village of Bloomfield home owned by Leber. According to the police report, the citizen said it had been in the employee’s yard for a couple of years and for a while, it appeared the employee was putting things in front of the trailer in an attempt to hide it.

When police drove to the employee’s residence, they found the trailer parked in the front yard.

Police interviewed the employee Feb. 11. The employee told police he borrowed the trailer and forgot to return it. He said he needed a trailer to move to his home in the village of Bloomfield.

He used a pickup truck owned by the city utility commission to tow it away. He also told police that he returned the trailer once, but then realized he needed it again, towing the trailer this time with his personal vehicle.

Asked why he hadn’t returned the trailer, the employee stated that he became lazy and forgot.

This incident was not connected to a more in-depth investigation into the street department conducted recently by the Lake Geneva Police Department and the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department.

At the completion of that investigation, multiple felony and misdemeanor charges of theft and misconduct in office were filed against Carstensen and former street department foreman Don Hoeft.

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