By Sarah Parker | County Line Editor

Facing 20 felonies related to allegations of theft from the Wilton Village Office, former clerk/treasurer Leigha Barton waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Leigha Barton (January booking photo)

At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution shows evidence that the defendant may have committed a crime. Though the preliminary hearing was waived, Monroe County Circuit Judge Todd Ziegler determined there was probable cause and bound over Barton for trial. Ziegler entered a non-guilty plea on Barton’s behalf.

Barton, 40, was charged with one count of tampering with public records, 11 counts of identity theft – obtain money or credit, one count of theft in a business setting, six counts of misconduct in office/acting with excessive authority, and one count of forgery (public record or copy). All are felony charges. 

Barton allegedly used unauthorized village credit cards and gas cards and misrepresented vacation time and paid time off to amass the money she is accused of taking from the village. According to the criminal complaint, the thefts allegedly began April 3, 2021, shortly after Barton began her tenure in the clerk/treasurer’s position, and continued through July 8, 2023. Barton had resigned on June 28, 2023. 

The district attorney’s office will present an updated offer to Barton on Monday, July 15, and a pretrial conference among the attorneys for the case is set for Monday, July 29. 

Barton’s next court appearance will be at a hearing set for 10:15 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9. 

In January, Barton was arrested on nine of the 20 charges and was released on a $10,000 signature. The district attorney’s office later amended the complaint, recording 11 more charges in June. 

District attorney slated to speak on case at Wilton Village Board meeting

Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger intends to speak publicly about the case at the Wilton Village Board’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 8, if the village board approves it as an agenda item.

Croninger said, “What I can share about the case would have to be somewhat limited because of my limitations related to pretrial publicity, but I think I can certainly give a brief update on the procedure of the case and some idea of how long it may take to reach a conclusion.”