Former ASNMU president Amber Lopota waived her preliminary examination last week and will be appearing in circuit court next month.
Lopota, 34, was arrested by NMU Public Safety on Wednesday, March 26 after allegedly embezzling more than $1,000 from ASNMU while she was the student government president.
Following her arraignment on Thursday, March 27, Lopota waived her preliminary exam, scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, April 10 in Marquette’s 96th District Court.
Judd Spray, Marquette County chief assistant prosecuting attorney, said the ability to waive a preliminary examination is given to anyone charged, depending on varying circumstances.
“Everyone charged with a serious crime, a felony crime, is entitled to a preliminary examination,” Spray said. “That’s a hearing in front of a district judge in which the people, which is the prosecutor’s office, help decide whether or not a trial is necessary. Think of it as a screening, but it’s not really that. It’s a device, a hearing that can be waived to decide whether or not there should be a trial. She waived the hearing and now the case will go to the circuit court.”
According to the Marquette prosecutor’s office, Lopota faces two charges, including a misdemeanor embezzlement charge and a felony embezzlement of an agent of over $1,000 but less than $20,000.
According to the Marquette prosecutor’s office, Lopota will be appearing in the Marquette Circuit Court at 10 a.m. Friday, May 9.
Cindy Paavola, NMU director of communications and marketing, said financial accounts connected with NMU are regularly inspected, making problems easier to spot. Paavola also said NMU Public Safety was informed of a discrepancy in the account.
“Everything tied to the university goes through a series of checks and balances on accounts,” Paavola said. “All use of funds tied to the university is documented. When something doesn’t look accurate during the process, you start to look at it to check what the problem is. That’s standard procedure for all universities.”
According to NMU Public Safety and the prosecution office, the case is still under investigation. Senior business computer information systems major Nathan Bradbury, ASNMU treasurer during Lopota’s presidency, declined to comment at this time. Mike Bath, director of NMU Public Safety, was unable to be reached by presstime and Public Safety defered all comment to the Communications and Marketing Department at NMU.
“The case is still pending,” Spray said. “It’s not yet resolved.”