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Former Racine County official accused of embezzlement pleads not guilty

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A former Racine County official charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars pleaded not guilty on Thursday, Jan. 2.

James Svoboda is accused of stealing more than $350,000. 

Investigators say Svoboda used village funds to finance a lavish lifestyle. They say he spent the money on persona items, including car repairs, home upgrades and vacations.

He's also charged with forgery, entity theft and misconduct in public office. 

Svoboda used to work as the joint park manager for Caledonia and Mount Pleasant. 

He was the chairman of the Kraut Music Festival, which was canceled in 2019.

He was also the Sexton of the Caledonia Memorial Cemetery. 

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