A former employee of a Madison lobbying and public relations firm pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $70,000 from the firm over a nearly two-year period.

Justin K. Laxton, 26, of Verona, pleaded guilty to theft in a business setting, forgery and fraudulent writings for thefts at Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies, where he worked.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Humphrey said he will seek probation with some conditional time in jail when Laxton is sentenced in about two months by Dane County Circuit Judge William Hanrahan.

In the meantime, said Laxton’s lawyer, Jonas Bednarek, the amount of money that Laxton must pay back will be worked out. He said there is a dispute about the actual loss to Klaetsch.

Bednarek said the proposed sentence is seven years of probation, with five months served in jail.

According to a criminal complaint, the thefts occurred between July 2012 and March 2014.

In all, the complaint states, Laxton wrote himself $73,862 in checks and deposited all but $2,500 into his own bank account.

The last check was caught by a bank fraud prevention employee who found that Laxton was not an authorized signatory for that account.

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Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.