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LE MARS, Iowa -- A former Westfield, Iowa, city clerk has pleaded not guilty to theft of city funds.

Angela Sorensen, 50, of Akron, Iowa, entered her written plea Thursday in Plymouth County District Court to first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct.

An Iowa State Auditor's review of the town's finances from Jan. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2017, found more than $74,000 in undeposited utility collections and improper payments. Sorensen was the city clerk from May 2013 until her resignation in August 2017.

Among the findings, state investigators identified $39,970 of estimated undeposited utility collections, $13,679 in excess wages and benefits paid to Sorensen and $4,272 of unauthorized checks issued to her.

Sorensen was arrested on a charge of second-degree theft in October 2017 after Westfield officials raised concerns about missing funds. The charge was later dismissed in order to give authorities more time to review the town's finances.

Ongoing criminal conduct is a Class B felony punishable by 25 years in prison. First-degree theft is a Class C felony and carries a 10-year prison sentence.

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