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Former town clerk accused of theft makes initial appearance
dayna leavesa

Dayna Hooverson, the former Town of Clayton clerk accused of embezzling money from the township, had little to say in her brief initial appearance in court on Monday.

The 34-year-old former township clerk, who now lives in Readstown, managed  a few short answers to questions from Crawford County Circuit Court Judge James P. Czajkowski.

“Yes your honor,” Hooverson said in response to Czajkowski’s question of whether she understood the felony theft charge that is being brought against her.

Hooverson also told the judge in answer to his question about obtaining legal counsel that she had not met with an attorney.

Czajkowski asked if she understood an attorney would be appointed if she could not afford one. After a long pause, Hooverson answered with a “yes.”

After conferring with the deputy clerk of courts and the District Attorney Tim Baxter, the judge ordered Hooverson released on a $1,000 signature bond with no conditions. In answer to another question from the judge, Hooverson affirmed that the signature bond as proposed was acceptable to her.

A public hearing in the case was set for Wednesday, July 1 at 2 p.m. Czajkowski told  Hooverson that when she obtained legal counsel she should inform them of the court date.

Hooverson was told by the judge to accompany the bailiff to the clerk of courts office to fill out the paperwork for the signature bond and then proceed with the bailiff to the sheriff’s department to be fingerprinted.

For her part, Hooverson sat quietly alone at the defense table, dressed in a black long-sleeved sweater over a striped tank top.

If convicted of the Class G felony, theft over $10,000 in a business setting, Hooverson faces a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment up to 10 years or both.

While the criminal complaint alleging the embezzlement comes short of detailing the exact amount diverted for Hooverson’s personal use, it notes that checks made out to Dayna Hooverson and subsequently cashed during a more than six-an-a-half year period totaled $225,000. During this time, Hooverson was entitled to an $8,500 annual salary plus approved expenses and overtime pay. In other words, Hooverson is accused of diverting around $170,000, less any approved expenses and overtime pay, to her personal use.