Former Barber County Public Works Director
Pleads Guilty to Stealing From County
WICHITA, KAN. – The former director of public works for Barber County has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing money and equipment from the county, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. He agreed to pay restitution to $116,310.
Steven E. Collier, 49, Nashville, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from a program that receives federal funds, and he agreed to pay $116,310 in restitution. In his plea, Collier admitted that in April 2010 he submitted a forged invoice to the Barber County Public Works falsely representing that he paid $28,350 for steel beams for the county. In fact, he used the money to buy a D4H bulldozer for his personal benefit. Subsequently, he sold the bulldozer and deposited the funds from the sale into the account of a company he owned, Bar Sha Trucking and Excavating.
He further admitted that in June 2010 he sold a John Deere 6400 tractor to a man identified in court papers as Russell W for $20,000 and deposited the funds into the account of Bar Sha Trucking and Excavating. The tractor was owned by the Barber County Department of Public Works.
Sentencing is set for May 30. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. Grissom commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger for their work on the case.