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Bayard woman gets jail, probation for theft of state ward funds

Bayard woman gets jail, probation for theft of state ward funds
Cory Ryan/Getty Images News/Thinkstock

A 71 year old Bayard woman was told by the court Wednesday her theft of state ward funds “violated a strong legal trust” as she was sentenced to six months in jail and three years probation.

Judy Widener, who worked as director of Gering’s Safe Haven, had entered a no contest plea to an aggregate count of felony theft earlier this year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.The charge regarded thefts that occurred for over 20 months from 2011 to 2013.

Scotts Bluff County District Judge Leo Dobrovolny also told Widener the thefts were an “insult to the justice system” and there was no “excuse of justification”. Dobrovolny said Widener’s attitude was one of ” minimizing” her actions, but noted the pre-sentence investigation indicated she was a strong candidate for probation with no previous record.

Widener had agreed to pay $25,857 in restitution as part of the plea agreement. Dobrovolny did require her to provide 25 hours of community service through the length of her probation once she serves her time in the Scotts Bluff County Jail.

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