A Union County employee has been charged with one count of 3rd degree theft after it was discovered that she stole between $15,000 and $20,000 in county funds, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Melissa Kolbeck, 31, of Roselle, worked as a principal clerk in the Park Maintenance and Administrative Support Office where she was responsible for accounts receivable from a variety of sources. Superiors noticed account irregularities and notified the county police department, who in turn contacted prosecutors.

On Tuesday, complaints were signed against Kolbeck and a first court appearance was set for May 27, 2009 before Union County Superior Court Judge Joan Robinson Gross.

According to the investigation, Kolbeck was primarily responsible for depositing funds received by the county at the Parks office front desk for permits. Kolbeck was hired by the Union County in September 1998 and earned $43,155 per year according to county records.

Editor's Note: These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.