Augusta Township clerk free on bond after not guilty plea
Two days after a warrant was issued for her arrest, Augusta Township Clerk Kathy Giszczak turned herself in to authorities Wednesday and was arraigned in district court on two eavesdropping charges.
Giszczak said she pleaded not guilty after taking advantage of the “walk-in arraignment” time period between 9 and 10 a.m. at the 14A District Court.
The whole process only took a few minutes, she said.
“It’s new, it’s interesting, it’s a whole new world for me,” she said of the legal process.
Giszczak didn’t want to comment any further, but did reiterate the statement she released to AnnArbor.com Tuesday: that she plans to “vigorously defend herself” and that the recording at the heart of the case was made in a public place, and therefore not against the law.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said Giszczak didn’t spend any time in jail, and no booking photo was taken.
Jackson said defendants with non-violent charges who opt for a walk-in arraignment sometimes aren’t processed through the jail.
“It’s not uncommon,” he said.
Giszczak remains free on a personal recognizance bond, which doesn’t require any monetary payment and is generally given to defendants who are not considered a flight risk.
The official charges read against her Wednesday are eavesdropping and divulging information, both felonies punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.
Police and prosecutors are accusing Giszczak of willfully using a device “to eavesdrop upon the private conversation of Janice Blair and/or Peter Hafler, without the consent of all the parties thereto,” according to court documents.
The content of the recording had to do with “the use of funds at the township” as well as the job performance of employees in the treasurer's office, Jackson said.
Then-deputy treasurer Blair was fired after Gisczak allegedly played the recording for former township Treasurer Angela Sherbine. Hafler was township supervisor at the time.
Giszczak waived her right to have a preliminary examination within 14 days. The exam will take place at 8:30 a.m. on May 29.