Charge against assistant DA amended

Becky Strabel | Staff writer
DANE COUNTY – An amended charge of county disorderly conduct, an unclassified forfeiture, was filed in the case involving Burnett County Assistant District Attorney Daniel P. Steffen, 49, Osceola. He pleaded no contest on Feb. 19 and was fined $330.50. Steffen was originally charged with misdemeanor attempted theft by false representation, less than or equal to $2,500 for the fraudulent request of reimbursement for mileage and the cost of a hotel room while attending a July 2018 Department of Justice conference in Madison.
According to the criminal complaint filed on Oct. 9, authorities from the Division of Criminal Investigation were advised by the executive director of the Department of Justice - Office of Crime Victim Services that a submitted reimbursement voucher from Steffen was deemed questionable.
Steffen allegedly submitted a voucher for his mileage traveled from his residence to Madison and for the cost a two-night stay in a hotel room.
The request was flagged because the department had received two vouchers referencing the same room number. Plus, Steffen’s request included an additional night not allotted for the one-day conference and at a cost above that allowed by the DOJ.
When contacted about the discrepancies, Steffen allegedly responded by providing a second set of reimbursement request forms, with an altered hotel room number, adjusted dollar amount and with the last four digits of the billing account blackened out.
During the investigation, authorities checked the hotel registration records for the night of the conference and discovered that the first hotel room number referenced was the one registered to Steffen.
Special agents interviewed Steffen, who allegedly stated that although he had initially submitted the reimbursement requests as indicated, he then resubmitted the forms after being advised of the DOJ’s reimbursement policies.
Steffen went on to explain that an acquaintance, also attending the conference, had registered a room for both, but that it was his understanding that since the other person was not eligible for reimbursement, Steffen would make the request.

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