Former director gets jail, probation
Former county economic development director Teresa Huffman was sentenced Feb. 20 to time in jail and house arrest as well as probation for misuse of public funds.
Huffman pleaded guilty in December to draining $46,870.89 from bank accounts of two charitable groups she oversaw while economic development director, and later depositing the money into her personal bank account. She later used part of the money to purchase a mobile home at the county lake.
The charge is a level 7 felony. State sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence ranging from 24 months’ probation to 30 months in prison, depending on any previous convictions.
County commissioner Randy Dallke, present for Huffman’s sentencing, was given the opportunity to speak during the hearing.
“My whole consideration is what I’ve heard from the public,” Dallke said. “People just didn’t see that, didn’t understand. We’re hearing ‘probably just a slap on the hand and go on down the road.’”
Dallke told the judge the public expects government employees to protect government money.
“They feel that when that’s violated, it throws a bad shadow on public guys,” Dallke said.
District Judge Michael Powers noted Huffman had no previous convictions and initially sentenced her to 30 days in jail as part of her probation.
Huffman’s attorney said agreements made with former county attorney Courtney Boehm called for a recommendation of 10 days in jail, not 30.
Powers modified the sentence to 10 days in jail but ordered 20 days house arrest.
Huffman earlier paid $46,870.89 to the district court as restitution in the case.