LE MARS, Iowa | Prosecutors dismissed a theft charge filed against the former Westfield, Iowa, city clerk on Monday while an investigation into the small town's finances continues.

Angela Sorensen, 48, of Westfield, has been accused of using $8,972 from a city fundraising account to buy personal items.

Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond said in his motion to dismiss the criminal complaint that more time is needed to complete an investigation and report by the Iowa State Auditor. Raymond asked that the charge be dismissed "without prejudice," giving him the option of refiling charges in the future.

District Judge John Ackerman granted Raymond's motion Monday in Plymouth County District Court.

Iowa's Rules of Criminal Procedure require that a defendant be indicted or charged within 45 days of his or her arrest unless the state files a motion to dismiss on the grounds that dismissal in the furtherance of justice. Sorensen was arrested Oct. 11. With the dismissal, the investigation can continue without the possibility of pushing up against that deadline.

Westfield Mayor Mike Tadlock contacted the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 7 after officials discovered the funds were missing from a bank account that held money raised for a public park and T-ball complex. According to court documents, Sorensen was in control of the account and took money from it for her own use.

Sorensen resigned in August, and the city has hired a new clerk.

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