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Byline: Shelley Nelson
Feb. 12--WASCOTT -- When Janice Newsome started to ask questions of local government in April 2008, her inquiries were met with hostility.
This week, numerous residents may have learned why some town officials grew guarded. The long-anticipated results of the 2007 and 2008 audits, the first performed since 1999, identified $72,426 in misappropriated funds. Under Wisconsin law, the audits are required annually because the clerk and treasurer roles are combined. "To me that seems like an awful lot of money that was embezzled from taxpayers in the town of Wascott," Newsome said. The expenses for "non-town" disbursements ended in May 2008, when Newsome -- then just a town resident -- started seeking public records to get answers to her questions about the town's finances. Newsome, who was elected board chairwoman last year, said some accused her of making political hay for a couple-hundred-dollar mistake, but …