Former Barber County Public Works Director
Indicted on Charges of Stealing County Vehicles
WICHITA, KAN. – The former director of public works for Barber County and his wife have been indicted on charges of stealing vehicles and money from the county, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
The indictment alleges the public works director diverted vehicles purchased with county funds to a company incorporated by his wife. He later sold the stolen vehicles for cash.
Steven E. Collier, 49, Nashville, Kan., has been charged with four counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and three counts of sale of stolen property. Collier’s wife, Diana L. Collier, 58, Medicine Lodge, Kan., is charged with four counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and four counts of sale of stolen property.
The indictment alleges the thefts occurred from July 21, 2008, to Aug. 1, 2010, while Collier was responsible for the management of road and bridge maintenance and construction projects in Barber County. Collier also was responsible for purchasing equipment needed for road and bridge projects. Diana Collier was the incorporator of Bar-Sha Trucking and Excavating, LLC.
The indictment alleges the thefts include:
– A 2003 International truck purchased with county funds from Advantage Truck Sales, Inc., and delivered to Diana Collier. The purchase price was $11,750. The truck was titled in the name of Bar-Sha Trucking and Excavating. It later was sold by Collier for approximately $10,000.
– County funds in the amount of $28,350 for which Steven Collier submitted a forged invoice to Barber County for the purchase of steel beams from PRESCO Equipment, Inc., in Haubstadt, Indiana. Collier used the money to purchase a D4H bulldozer from PRESCO Equipment, Inc. The bulldozer was delivered to Collier’s residence. He later sold the bulldozer for $26,000.
– A 2000 Chevrolet truck with a dump body owned by Barber County. Title to the vehicle was transferred to Bar-Sha Trucking and Excavating for a reported sale price of $5,000. County records show no payment received for the truck. The truck was sold for $12,000.
– A John Deere 6400 tractor owned by Barber County. Steven Collier told other employees the tractor had been traded for other equipment. County records show no payment received for the tractor. Collier listed the tractor for sale on Craig’s List and sold it for $20,000.
Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Theft from a program receiving federal funds: A maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
– Interstate transportation of stolen property: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
– Sale of stolen property: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.