Sunday, Dec 8, 2013
City Clerk Sentenced to Three Years in Prison
JOHNSON COUNTY -- Former Belknap village clerk Nancy Hester will spend three years in prison for theft.
A judge handed down that sentence on Tuesday. Hester pled guilty last month to stealing more than $25,000 from the town.
"She's going to get what she deserves for what she did to the village," said Belknap president Janet Hester. "It will take at least 15 years to build that back up. We have no revenue coming in. We never thought this was an issue in our village. We have never had a problem with trust."
Nancy Hester's attorney pushed for probation, but the case presented against Hester was too strong for the judge to ignore.
"She held public office and she is accountable to the public for the taxpayer's money that she stole," said special prosecutor Melissa Presser.
Hester admitted to taking the money from the village's property tax funds and depositing it into her own personal account.
Belknap leaders discovered the missing money earlier this year after bill collectors began threatening to shut off city lights due to unpaid bills. The missing funds have forced the village to delay cleanup projects in the town.
"We are looking at different things that we can do to raise money to get that where we want it," said Janet Hester. "We had a comfortable amount to fix that before but now it's gone. We will just have to start over."
The prosecutor says Hester will be forced to repay the village when she's released from prison.
Hester will be given credit for some 100 days already served.
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