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3/15/2013 12:51:00 PM
Kay Gysbers faces WI felony charges

by Ken Haggerty

Former Cannon Falls resident Kay Gysbers faces felony charges in Barron County (WI) Court for placing a substance in a coffee cup of a co-worker at a Rice Lake (WI) law firm and for forgery and theft at the law firm.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the charges, Gysbers, 63, Almena, WI, had been working as a legal assistant for the Smith & Smith Law Office in Rice Lake for the past four years.

A co-worker, Bobbette Reinke, said she returned to her desk on December 27, 2012 at about 9:15 a.m. after picking up the mail. As soon as Reinke took a drink of coffee she had brought in with her in her travel mug, she realized there was something horribly wrong with the drink, according to details in the complaint. Reinke said it had a horrible taste and made her lips burn. She noticed a powder film on the mug cover and saw powder floating on top of the coffee. Reinke said she drinks her coffee black.

Reinke said she has been having troubles with Gysbers in the office and immediately suspected her of putting something in the coffee, according to the complaint.

Gysbers' employment was terminated from the law firm December 29, a following police investigation reports. Elizabeth Smith, one of the law firm owners, reported to police that Gysbers had been issuing checks from the Smith & Smith Trust Account without permission. Smith also said Gysbers had forged Todd Smith's signature on some checks and used his signature stamp, all without permission.

The seven checks were made payable to Gysbers, her mother, June Veith, and her sister, Dalette Schwalboski, according to the complaint. A total of $10,312.21 was withdrawn. Checks by a local couple were deposited by Gysbers into the account. Those totaled $3,650. The activity took place from September 13, 2012 to December 14, 2012.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 13.

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