City Attorney Randy Stiles gets $58,000 judgment against former employeeFormer bookkeeper admits to not filing IRS forms, payments on Stiles' behalf from 2007 through June of this year
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
Mitchell’s city attorney is attempting to recover more than $50,000 from a former employee who failed to file and pay federal taxes on behalf of his law practice.
From 2007 through June of this year, Roxane Tegethoff, who was a bookkeeper for Randy Stiles’ law practice in Mitchell did not file Internal Revenue Service Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, which reports employment taxes, withholding amounts, deposit amounts and amounts due to the IRS.
Stiles filed a civil complaint Thursday against Tegethoff. In the complaint, he alleged Tegethoff “did not inform” him of her failure to file the tax forms and payments. The complaint states that as a result of Tegethoff’s actions, Stiles “incurred assessments, penalties, interest, and costs in the total sum of $57,865.81.”
The same day Stiles filed his complaint, Tegethoff signed a document described as a “confession of judgment.” The confession says Tegethoff worked for Stiles for more than 35 years, and that her duties included being a bookkeeper.
“I did not file the federal 941 returns as required for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and through June of 2011, nor did I make the required deposits for said returns,” Tegethoff’s written confession says. It goes on to state that she “hid this fact” from Stiles and his employees.
“I picked up the mail for the law firm every day and all notices from the IRS about the delinquencies I caused and money owed were intercepted by me so that notification of the delinquency or the amount owed was never known by (Stiles),” the confession states.
The confession says she admitted her actions to a fellow employee on July 19 of this year, informing the employee that on July 21 the IRS planned to levy Stiles’ property. At the end of the written confession, Tegethoff acknowledges that “judgment may be taken against me for the amount assessed for penalties, interest and cost.”
Tegethoff resigned from her position at Stiles’ law office July 19.
She declined an interview Tuesday with The Daily Republic for this story.
Stiles also refused to comment to the newspaper, saying only that “the file speaks for itself.”
A spokesperson for the IRS declined to offer any information on Stiles’ tax situation, citing privacy protections.
Meanwhile, Davison County State’s Attorney Pat Smith notified the Davison County Commission during Tuesday’s public commission meeting that the corporation known as Randolph F. Stiles PC has dissolved. Therefore, Smith told commissioners, a county public defender contract must be transferred to the Stiles and Papendick Law Firm.
Mayor Lou Sebert said in response to Daily Republic questions about the matter that he was not aware of the dissolution of Stiles’ corporation and does not know what effect, if any, the situation will have on Stiles’ official relationship with the city.
The city’s required annual legal notice of salaries, last published Jan. 13 in The Daily Republic, listed Stiles’ yearly pay from the city at $48,000. While working as city attorney, he also has done separate legal work for his own clients.
Doug Papendick, who shares an office with Stiles, was listed as receiving $3,650 from the city for handling a smaller portion of the city’s legal work.