(ADAIR, Iowa) Adair’s former city clerk and her son, a former city street department employee, pleaded guilty Monday to felony theft charges in connection with the theft of taxpayer funds from the City of Adair.
Linda Nichols, 63, and Terry Nichols, 41, both of Adair, pleaded guilty in Adair County District Court to Theft in the First Degree, a Class C Felony. As part of the plea, the charge of Felonious Misconduct in Office, a Class D felony, was dropped. According to the plea agreement, the defendants face a prison sentence of up to ten years, a fine of up to $7,500, and they agree to pay full restitution. Their sentencing date is set for November 14.
Under the restitution agreement, the total to be repaid is $83,293.05, and an additional $5,824.39 for the cost of the state audit. The amount is higher than the City of Adair’s estimate of $80,000, but is less than the $110,257.26 amount listed as improper in a special investigation report released by the Office of Auditor of State on May 3, 2011. The Auditor’s report included, for example, the city’s losses due to payroll taxes paid to the state, amounts that cannot be proven to have been stolen, and amounts that, after additional investigation, were proven not to be stolen.
The special investigation was requested by City of Adair officials as a result of misappropriation of city funds, and alleged improper and unsupported disbursements and undeposited collections.
The Adair County Attorney, following the release of the Auditor’s report, referred the case to Attorney General Tom Miller. Miller would like to thank the Iowa Auditor of State, the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, and the City of Adair Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.