Judge rejects restitution amount

CLAY CENTER — It’s back to the drawing board to establish an appropriate restitution amount for a former Fairfield city clerk who is accused of embezzling more than $100,000.

During a sentencing hearing Wednesday in Clay County District Court, Nuckolls County Attorney Timothy Schmidt, who is a special prosecutor in the case, requested that Jennifer Bassett pay $25,000 restitution and also serve probation. But Judge Vicky Johnson said that $25,000 wasn’t nearly enough and rejected the plea agreement.

As a result, Bassett’s sentencing was continued to 9:30 a.m. July 25 at the Clay County Courthouse to again try and set the restitution amount.

Fairfield Mayor Lynn Ridgway was among the more than 20 people who attended the sentencing Wednesday. In rejecting the proposed restitution, Johnson said that is the most people she has ever seen for a court appearance in Clay County.

“I think (the judge) is on the right track, because that restitution was way too low,” Ridgway said after the hearing. “I think she’s on the right track, but I don’t know how high she’s going to go or what they’re going to decide on yet, but I hope it’s considerably more.”

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