Linn Strouse, right

PROVO — Speculation swirled after Eagle Mountain City Councilwoman Linn Strouse was charged with a felony for accepting a financial gift.

But things were much calmer Monday afternoon in a 4th District Court Room as Strouse stood before a judge to start the legal process.

Strouse, 59, is charged with accepting $10,000 from a developer and not reporting it, while she served on the city's governing board.

The money was supposed to be a gift from John Walden, often touted as the founder of Eagle Mountain, said Royce Van Tassell, Walden's spokesman. Strouse's husband, Dave, had cancer, and the money was supposed to go to finishing the basement so family members could come help care for him.

But even after her husband passed away, Strouse never reported she had received the money.

The Utah County Attorney's Office got a complaint last November about Strouse and began investigating.

On Monday afternoon, she appeared before a judge for the first time on the charge of accepting a gift or loan when prohibited, a second-degree felony.

Her attorney, Michael Holje, asked that the court set the case out for a waiver hearing.

"We're asking that we be allowed time to investigate it," Holje said. "Quite frankly, as much time as your honor would give us."

After less than four minutes, Judge Samuel McVey set the waiver hearing for Jan. 7 at 1 p.m.

Strouse, who did not win her seat again on the Eagle Mountain City Council in the recent election, will be out of office in January.

Strouse previously served as interim mayor for almost a month in October 2006 after former mayor Brian Olsen resigned. He is charged with seven felony counts of misuse of public funds after allegedly getting reimbursed for trips he never went on and conferences he never attended.