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Former Buchner office manager faces $10,000 bond

By Paul Snyder

A La Crosse County Circuit Court judge Tuesday set a $10,000 cash bond for Gary Deml, a former Bernie J. Buchner Inc. office manager who allegedly took almost $1 million from the plumbing and heating company. (Photo courtesy of La Crosse County Jail)

A La Crosse County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday set a $10,000 cash bond for Gary Deml, a former Bernie J. Buchner Inc. office manager who allegedly took almost $1 million from the plumbing and heating company. (Photo courtesy of La Crosse County Jail)

A La Crosse County Circuit Court judge Tuesday set a $10,000 cash bond for a former Bernie J. Buchner Inc. office manager who allegedly took almost $1 million from the plumbing and heating company.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said Gary Deml will remain in La Crosse County Jail until somebody posts the bond for his release.

Circuit Court Judge Ramona Gonzalez also set bond terms that Deml would have to remain under house arrest, wear an ankle bracelet and not have any contact with La Crosse-based Buchner or any of its employees.

According to a criminal complaint, Deml, 62, worked for Buchner from 2000 to 2010 and stole $958,864.97 from the company between 2001 and 2010.

Deml was arrested last week and charged with theft of more than $10,000 from a business.

Gruenke said more charges could follow.

“We haven’t decided yet,” he said. “But we could be looking at charges like forgery, embezzlement, bank fraud and multiple counts on each.”

The state is continuing an investigation into Buchner’s finances, Gruenke said, but has not yet uncovered any more stolen money.

According to the criminal complaint, Deml was the owner of Sparta-based All-Seasons Refrigeration Inc. and was hired by Buchner in 2000. An audit of Buchner’s finances that began in April uncovered multiple checks made out to All-Seasons.

The checks contained approving signatures of company executives Gary Buchner, James Wagner and Marlin Buchner, according to the complaint, but all three men said they had not permitted the checks be written or signed.

Deml’s attorney, Christopher Dyer of Onalaska-based Dyer Law Firm LLC, said he only knows of one charge facing his client and will wait on a future hearing to learn of the others.

The state is expected to file all charges at a May 25 hearing, Gruenke said. However, he said, he does not know when the state will conclude its investigation of Buchner’s finances.

“It’ll be done when it’s done,” he said.

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