A trial date has been set for mid-November for the man accused of stealing funds from the Tri-County Corridor Commission during his tenure as director.

Scott A. Williams, 60, of Brule, is facing one count of felony theft in a business setting exceeding $100,000 and six felony charges related to tax credits and fraudulent income tax returns. The theft was estimated at $183,000-$203,000.

In addition, Williams is accused of evading more than $14,000 in taxes for not reporting Tri-County Corridor Commission income and collecting $454 in tax credits he was ineligible to receive based on his actual income over a four-year period, according to a Wisconsin Department of Revenue investigation.

Williams was originally charged in March 2020. The Bayfield County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation in June 2019 after Tri-County Corridor chair Patrick Daoust reported the theft.

At the time, Daoust discovered the commission’s bank balance was about $7,000. During a meeting three months earlier, Williams told the commissioners that the account had a balance of $143,396.63, according to the criminal complaint.

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The DOR also launched an investigation into Williams and determined he hadn’t paid taxes on the income he is accused of embezzling from the Tri-County Corridor Commission from 2016-2019.

Williams, who had other hearings scheduled to settle the case over the last two months, requested the trial during a plea and sentencing hearing Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Bayfield County Circuit Court Judge John P. Anderson said he wished Williams would have requested the trial sooner.

“I’m going to tell you this point blank, and I usually don’t do this, but I’m treating today as the final trial conference,” Anderson said. “That means I will not accept an amendment to pleading from here on out. Your chance to settle this case is today … I’ve given you plenty of time to settle the case.”

The judge set the start of the three-day trial for Nov. 17.

“All three days would probably be a little safer,” said Kimberly Lawton, Bayfield County district attorney. “It does span over five years. There’s not many witnesses but there’s a significant volume.”

Evidence collected during the investigation includes an audit of Tri-County Corridor finances, Williams' personal bank account and tax records, and dozens of checks Williams is accused of depositing in his personal account or using to purchase personal items, including “a number of motorcycles and two trucks,” according to the criminal complaint.

Williams’ attorney, Ryan Reid, accepted the trial dates on his client’s behalf.

Anderson said the trial will begin at 8 a.m. Nov. 17 with jury selection. He extended the timeline for attorneys to provide notice of experts and witnesses to Oct. 29.

Lawton said those notices would normally have been due by Tuesday for the November trial and requested an extension to Friday, Oct. 22.