Bank account transfers led to charges
A year and three months before Teresa Huffman retired as county economic development director, she allegedly drained the assets of two inactive charitable groups she’d overseen and deposited the money into an account for a third inactive program.
A year after her retirement, she allegedly moved that money into her personal bank account and used part of it to buy herself a mobile home and camper.
An affidavit released Friday at the newspaper’s request states that $38,422.91 was taken from the account of Leadership Marion County and its companion program, Leadership Marion County Children’s Fund, on March 14, 2016. The money was deposited into an account for Flint Hills Resource Conservation and Development Area, another non-profit program that had been inactive for several years.
Two weeks later, two checks from Central Kansas Community Foundation, each for $4,229.49 and payable to Marion County for use by LMC and LMCCF, were deposited in the FHRCD account.
Sheriff Rob Craft’s probable cause affidavit, filed to support a criminal charge of misuse of public funds against Huffman, said county clerk Tina Spencer notified him on May 22 that funds from the LMC account appeared to have been transferred to a private account.
Huffman was a signer on both LMC and FHRCD’s bank accounts.
The LMC account at Citizens State Bank of Moundridge was closed about a month after the money was moved to the FHRCD account at Cottonwood Valley Bank in Florence, Craft’s affidavit reads.
The FHRCD account had no further transactions until May 1, when Huffman wrote a $46,870.89 check payable to herself and deposited it into a personal account at Central National Bank’s Hillsboro branch. On the same day, a check for $14,000 payable to Chuck Hill was written from Huffman’s personal account.
Craft’s affidavit states that both LMC and LMCCF remain listed as 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and Huffman remains listed as president of both.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed Huffman and numerous other people.
Craft’s affidavit states that Huffman said in a recorded interview that toward the end of her career with the county, she was solely responsible for LMC and FHRCD funds because both had been inactive for several years.
She admitted depositing a $46,870.89 check into her account and said some of the funds were used to purchase a trailer house at Marion County Park and Lake and a camper.
Huffman told KBI agents “she just needed to pay the county back, and no other persons were involved,” the affidavit reads.
Huffman’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 7.