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Former treasurer sentenced for stealing from Wadena County GOP

The former treasurer of the Wadena County Republican Party was given a one-year suspended sentence and 20 days of home monitoring for embezzling funds from the party over the last two years.

Sue Rebischke, 61, of Wadena, whose full name is Linda Sue Rebischke, was also ordered to repay $3,782 to the party, take part in a gambling assessment and perform community service.

Rebischke was charged in April with theft -- take/use/transfer movable property with no consent and theft by check. The latter charge was dropped at sentencing. Judge Sally Robertson also ordered Rebischke to pay $3,987 in fines, but stayed $2,100 of that fine until 2012.

Court documents and police reports indicated Rebischke showed a balance in the account on Dec. 31, 2009 of $4,734.66. However, according to a statement from the bank, there was only $47.47 in the account. The committee's bylaws require two signatures on each check, but some were turned in only signed by Rebischke, according to a police report. Of those 88 checks, 65 checks were written directly to Rebischke, 22 were written to area businesses and one was to charity. The checks totaled $10,303.92; however, Rebischke made four reimbursement payments totaling $6,500, leaving a difference of $3,803.92, according to documents handed over to police by the party.

On March 12, Rebischke voluntarily went to the Wadena Police Department to talk to an officer about her involvement with the money. She said during the last two years of the 4-5 she was treasurer, she started taking money from the organization. Some of the money, she said, was to help a son in Alaska. She said her husband did not know she was giving the son money, and wouldn't have approved of it, because he believes in working for it. She said other times, she took the money for personal items or to gamble in casinos, hoping she could win back enough to reimburse the party. Rebischke allegedly admitted to police she took about $200 a week from the organization since September 2008. She said she did, at times, make reimbursement payments, but acknowledged she hadn't replaced all of the money.

But in a letter just two days later addressed to the GOP committee, Rebischke was defiant and said she would not resign, "as I feel I have done a good job, my reports are accurate and on time. I guess I will have to take this matter to the convention and have them fire me."