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Federal Charges Filed Against Former Office Manager For Bloomington Parks And Recreation Department
Updated March 15, 2015 9:42 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Federal criminal charges have been filed against former office manager for the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department 51-year-old Judith Seigle, of Gosport.

When Seigle was fired in October as office manager, her bosses suspected her of stealing money. On Friday, they found out just how much: A grand jury indictment alleging wire fraud says she pilfered $400,000 from the Bloomington Parks Foundation and another $30,000 from city accounts. The indictment alleges that from approximately 2001 to October 2014, she diverted, embezzled, and misappropriated approximately the funds from the Foundation and Parks Department for her personal use and benefit.

"Seigle used funds intended for the parks as a piggy bank to benefit herself," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said during a news conference in Bloomington. "The citizens of Bloomington deserve better from their paid city employees," This is the second employee in less than one year charged with stealing city funds. Public officials need to serve the public and not serve themselves. The projects and programs of the Park's Department exist to benefit the citizens of Bloomington."

The second employee is former Manager for Engineering Services for the City of Bloomington Justin Wykoff, who pled guilty in federal court to 11 counts of wire fraud for receiving kickbacks from the operators of a local concrete company and awarding City contracts to the company, according to the release.

In pleading guilty, Wykoff admitted that he was responsible for bidding and awarding contracts for public works projects in the City, such as road paving and sidewalk construction. Between April 2011 to Feb. 2014, Wykoff solicited and received substantial cash bribes and kickbacks from Roger Hardin and Zach Hardin, who operated a company called Reliable Concrete and Construction.

In exchange for the kickbacks, Wykoff assisted the Hardins in obtaining over $800,000 in City construction contracts and payments for Reliable Concrete, according to the Department of Justice. Wykoff estimated project costs and prepared bid proposals, using his inside information to ensure Reliable Concrete was the low bidder. In some cases, Wykoff awarded City contracts to Reliable Concrete outright without obtaining bids from other contractors. Wykoff also authorized City payments to Reliable Concrete totaling approximately $807,000. Of that amount, approximately $300,000 was for work that was never completed by Reliable Concrete.

Seigle, in her position as office manager, was responsible for maintaining certain books and records for the Parks Department as well as books and records for the Bloomington Community Parks and Recreation Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which exists to provide support for Bloomington's parks and community programs.

According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steve DeBrota and Assistant United States Attorney Nick Linder, who are prosecuting this case for the United States, Seigle faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Seigle's investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Bloomington Police Department, with assistance from the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office.

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