A former county public works director admitted Monday to stealing from his employer in a deal with the government in which he agreed to pay $116,310 in restitution.
Steven Collier, 49, of Nashville, Kan., pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to two counts of theft from a Barber County program receiving federal funds. In return, the government agreed to drop nine counts in the indictment against him.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger told the judge that the government planned to ask the court to dismiss an indictment against Collier’s wife, Diana Collier, of Medicine Lodge, without prejudice. That means the government could refile the same charges later.
As part of the deal, Steven Collier admitted he forged an invoice in April 2010 for the purchase of steel beams and used the money instead to buy a bulldozer for his own use. He later sold the bulldozer and deposited the proceeds into the bank account of Bar Sha Trucking and Excavating, a company he owned.
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He also admitted that in June 2010 he sold a county-owned tractor for $20,000 and deposited the money into his company’s account. He acknowledged he did not have authority to sell the tractor and use the proceeds for his personal benefit.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although Collier is likely to get much less under federal sentencing guidelines.
His plea agreement with the government gives him credit for acceptance of responsibility. Prosecutors also agreed to recommend a sentence at the low end of the guidelines.
Defense attorney, Douglas Adams, Jr., told the court he planned to file a motion asking for a lesser sentence than the guideline range.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren set sentencing for May 30.