Elmbrook School Board member charged with battery, domestic abuse

Prosecutors have increased charges against an Elmbrook School Board member to a felony.

Elmbrook School Board member Preetha Kurudiyara left court on Monday morning, July 8, charged with a felony.

"It is within the state’s discretion to pursue different charges that are available," said prosecutor Molly Schmidt.

Late last year, prosecutors charged Kurudiyara with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. They say she got into a fight with her husband the day before Thanksgiving.  Investigators say Kurudiyara threw a "one-liter bottle of tonic water" at her husband’s face.

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A snippet from the criminal complaint

Medical records indicate it broke his nose.

Months later, and a day before her trial was set to start, prosecutors dismissed the misdemeanor.

They’re now charging her with "substantial battery, domestic abuse" – which is a felony.

"It seems like the timing of this and the filing of this is for the convenience of the state to the detriment of my client," said defense attorney Amanda Riek.

Brookfield police say Kurudiyara and her husband argued about "a pan that was left in the sink to soak."

Prosecutors say Kurudiyara turned violent.

Preetha Kurudiyara in Waukesha County Court.

Kurudiyara was elected to Elmbrook’s school board in 2023. She serves as treasurer and lists her occupation as "community volunteer and pediatrician."

"She has a job waiting for her, potentially, but cannot be hired in part due to the pendency of the case," added Amanda Riek.

Kurudiyara entered a plea of "not guilty." Now the process starts over again.

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"The state has the right to dismiss without prejudice. There is a different charge being filed," said Judge Paul Reilly.

Kurudiyara will be back in court next week for her preliminary hearing on this new felony charge.

Elmbrook Schools confirmed Kurudiyara remains an "active board member." A district spokesman would not comment on the felony charge.