Former county employee pleads guilty

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A former Bourbon County Clerk's Office employee pleaded guilty Friday afternoon in Bourbon County District Court to three counts she faced related to a 2013 incident involving theft from the county.

Bourbon County District Judge Mark Ward presided over an arraignment and felony plea hearing concerning Angela Timi, 29, of Fort Scott, who was arrested Feb. 27 on multiple charges of criminal use of a financial card, forgery, making false information, misuse of public funds and theft by deception.

Timi, who appeared with her attorney, Bob Farmer, pleaded guilty to one count of misuse of public funds, a severity level 9 nonperson felony, and counts 20 and 21 involving criminal use of a financial card. Each count of criminal use of a financial card is a Class A nonperson misdemeanor.

The state is represented by Bourbon County Attorney Terri Johnson.

With the guilty pleas, Timi must pay the full restitution amount of $23,773 and faces a minimum of seven months and maximum of 17 months, as well as a maximum $100,000 fine for the count of misuse of public funds. She also faces up to 12 months in the county jail and a maximum $2,500 fine for the charges involving criminal use of a financial card.

The state has agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. Timi originally faced 59 counts.

During the hearing, Farmer presented Ward with a petition to enter a plea, which Farmer said had been signed by Timi and in her possession for several weeks.

Ward placed the defendant under oath and also informed Timi of her rights. Ward verified that Timi had read and signed the petition voluntarily and confirmed with Timi that upon entering guilty pleas, she was waiving her rights and there would be no trial. Ward said the guilty pleas entered for the three charges would mean the same as if Timi had been found guilty during a trial. Ward also confirmed with the defendant that she had entered the guilty pleas "freely and voluntarily."

Timi also faces a 30-day sentence, or 720 hours, in the county jail and her probationary period will not end until the full restitution amount has been paid. When sentencing is handed down, the sentences will run consecutively.

Ward said a pre-sentence investigation will be conducted and he will review Timi's criminal history prior to sentencing. Ward accepted the guilty pleas and sentencing was set for 10:15 a.m., Nov. 19.

Timi was employed as a payroll clerk with the Bourbon County Clerk's Office from August 2011 until she was terminated in January 2013.

Bourbon County officials announced during a special meeting Jan. 3, 2013 the county was pursuing a criminal investigation against a former non-elected employee of the clerk's office. The employee was terminated for misconduct and an investigation began for alleged employee theft.

The investigation was led by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and it was investigators from that agency who arrested Timi in February. She was released from the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center March 3 on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.

She was arrested again March 20 for bond revocation, then released March 28 with her bond reinstated at $100,000.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the Bourbon County District Court by Johnson, Timi used "public money in a manner not authorized by law, but a custodian or other person having control of public money by virtue of such person's official position."

The amount of funds was described in the complaint as "at least $1,000, but less than $25,000." Among the original charges were 20 counts of theft coinciding with 20 counts of criminal use of a financial card. In August 2012, Timi used a credit card belonging to Bourbon County to pay several personal expenses, according to the original criminal complaint filed Feb. 28, 2014.