A criminal case involving the former municipal
court administrator for the City of Parkville
is scheduled for a docket call next month in Platte
County Circuit Court Division II.
Louella R. Smith, 44, is charged with the Class
C felony of stealing from the City of Parkville.
She is accused of stealing more than $101,000
from March of 2001 to December of 2003.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said a Jan.
27 docket call is scheduled in the case. No pleadings
have yet been entered and the January appearance
will not be a trial date.
According to court documents filed by Zahnd's
office, on Dec. 19, 2003, Parkville Municipal
Court Judge Sandra Ferguson reported to the Parkville
Police Department that a review of the court's
financial records revealed that funds appeared
to be missing from the court administrator's office.
The judge reported that a court deposit containing
only checks and money orderswith the currency
missinghad been discovered inside the court
Smith, the court administrator, was suspended
pending a review of the court records. An offense
report was filed with the Parkville Police Department,
who then contacted the Kansas City Police Department
to conduct the investigation into the matter.
The investigation, according to court documents,
revealed a theft of funds taken from the court's
deposits during the years from 2001 to 2003. Approximately
$12,741 was missing from 2001; $31,255 in 2002;
and $57,273 in 2003.
On May 10 of this year, Det. Jeanelle Cesena
with the Kansas City Police Department's financial
investigations section interrogated Smith. Court
papers indicate Smith admitted to being involved
in the stealing of funds from the city court while
employed as the court administrator.
Prosecutors say Smith admitted that during the
year 2001 she took a small amount of currency
from the court's deposits and increased that amount
in 2002 and again in 2003. In 2003 she was taking
money from court deposits "maybe two or three
times per month," according to papers filed
with the circuit court.
Smith allegedly told authorities that she used
the money to pay her children's living expenses.