Galesburg, IL – A Knox County office-holder accused of stealing money from her political party has pleaded not guilty to charges and has asked for a bench trial.
A public defender representing Knox County Recorder Paula Monzo on Tuesday entered the plea on a felony charge of theft over $300. Knox County Circuit Judge Paul Mangieri granted a jury trial waiver.
Monzo, who continues to work as county recorder, is scheduled for a status hearing March 30.
Monzo is accused of writing about $3,500 in checks from the Knox County Democratic Central Committee's account over the past year. Galesburg Police reports indicate Monzo was having trouble paying bills and had a cocaine habit.
She is not accused of misappropriating any county funds. An accounting firm that audited the recorder's office found no irregularities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.