Director of Gering Safe Haven charged with felony theft by takin - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Director of Gering Safe Haven charged with felony theft by taking

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The Director of Gering's Safe Haven is facing felony charges after an investigation prompted by the Nebraska State Auditor's Office.

70-year-old Judy Widener of Scottsbluff, was arrested on Friday on a charge of theft by taking (more than $1,500), a class III felony.

An arrest affidavit alleges that Widener inappropriately used funds for state wards.

One example says a check made payable to Safe Haven was dated 8/1/2012, but the individual's name noted on the memo of the check died on 12/2/2009, and the guardianship was terminated May 10, 2010.

Court documents say that Widener has established two main bank accounts to manage the Safe Haven Inc. business, however she had signing authority to over 40 different bank accounts with balances totaling $636,121.72.

Another instance shows that 11 checks from nine wards were deposited into one of the accounts after the wards date of death- and totaled $11,836.91. Widener was the guardian of all of these wards at some point.

Widener is set to be arraigned at 1:30 today in Scotts Bluff County Court. State Auditor Mike Foley is hosting a press conference at 1:00 p.m. to talk about this case as well.

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