Ex-Animal Control director’s court hearing cut short as defense requests more documents

Pre-exam conference was first substantial hearing in embezzlement case
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The former animal control director for Saginaw County facing a judge in a Zoom court hearing today.

48-year-old Lisa Stoffel faces one count of embezzlement.

Investigators believe she stole about $36,000.

Today was a scheduled pre-exam conference where we were expecting to hear some details in how the embezzlement case against Stoffel is progressing.

Stoffel is accused of stealing money from the animal control center and eventually resigned in 2018 following an ABC 12 News story that showed her academic qualifications to get the job in 2016 were fabricated. We also reported she was charged with embezzlement in Alaska in the early 2000′s, but that charge was dropped in exchange for a perjury conviction.

Her attorney, Michael Gorte, said he has received 700 documents as part of the discovery to prepare Stoffel’s defense, but has not received documents he believes will help her defense, including checks that Stoffel claims she sent to the Saginaw Community Foundation.

“We have no information or account information for those checks that were supposedly written, as well as Amazon orders dating between January 2018 through July, all we believe are very relevant,” Gorte told the court.

The assistant prosecutor at the hearing told Judge A.T. Frank that the prosecutor handling the case couldn’t make this hearing, and wasn’t clear why the documents weren’t made available to the defense. Judge Frank put the government on notice.

“If there is conflict that can’t be resolved, then its the duty of the officer of the court to contract the courts to resolve that conflict, so that were not stuck then having to scheduled this file for another time,” Judge Frank said.

The hearing will be scheduled for another date.

Stoffel is free on bond.

We did talk to Stoffel’s attorney after the hearing and he said the prosecution’s case is built on a pile of sand

Gorte says there are some discrepancies in the police reports he has seen that are not factually accurate.

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