John B. Edwards, the former Keith County Attorney who serves as Dundy County Attorney, will serve three years probation, perform 1,200 hours of community service and pay restitution for theft.
Edwards was sentenced Wednesday in Keith County District Court.
The charges were filed after a three-and-a-half month investigation by the Nebraska State Auditor and the Nebraska State Patrol that alleged Edwards mishandled money from the Keith County diversion fund, of which he was in sole control, while he was the Keith County Attorney.
Edwards was the Keith County Attorney from March 2007 until January 2009. He was charged with three counts and a jury convicted him of count III. On or about Jan. 20, 2009, he wrote a check for $3,681 to the Ogallala Trap Team, closing out an account for the Keith County Diversion Program.
The money belonged to the county, not the Ogallala Trap Team.
The theft was discovered by Deann Haeffner and the audit team of the Nebraska State Auditor’s office in the course of an annual audit of the county. Haeffner testified in the criminal court proceeding as to her audit findings.
State Auditor Mike Foley said that he is pleased that justice was served in the case and he complimented Haeffner for meticulous and professional audit work.
“Edwards was the chief criminal prosecutor in Keith County and has now learned that he is not above the law,” Foley said.
Edwards is the Dundy County Attorney, according to the Dundy County website. Dundy County is in the southwest corner of Nebraska.