Safe Haven Director has case bound over to District Court - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Safe Haven Director has case bound over to District Court

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The Director of Gering's Safe Haven who is facing felony charges after an investigation prompted by the Nebraska State Auditor's Office was back in court Friday afternoon.

70-year-old Judy Widener of Bayard is charged with of theft by taking (more than $1,500), a class III felony.

Today, County Judge Paul Wess heard testimony about the investigation of accounts that Widener had access to. Craig Kubacek from the State Auditor's office testified on at least half a dozen specific state wards where Judy Widener was the guardian to their account. He says many checks were deposited into Safe Haven accounts after the ward had passed away.

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.

Widener's attorney Sterling Huff argues that a guardian has a lot of accounting to do for each ward, and has countless expenditures ranging from stamps to fuel. Widener is accused of using Safe Haven funds to pay off a personal credit card, but argues that some of those charges could be business related.

Judge Wess deemed their was sufficient evidence to bound this case up to District Court, and Widener will be arraigned sometime in the coming weeks.

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