Charged with stealing more than $186,000
Rick Voisin, the former Towanda Municipal Court and utility clerk accused of stealing more than $186,000 from the city, pleaded guilty to two charges Friday morning in Butler County District Court.
In August of 2016 after a customer received an overdue notice on a utility bill that had been paid and providing a cancelled check, Towanda City Administrator Matt Engels and then-treasurer Andy Newbry, contacted the sheriff’s office after finding several manual adjustments to utiltiy accounts.
Through investigation, the Sheriff’s department discoverd several checks manually endorsed and not run through the point of sales system and other discrepencies with the accounts.
Financial records from Voisin and his wife showed a gambling loss of $18,457 in 2015.
The city’s insurance carrier refused to pay for the missing funds because it claimed the city knew of Voisin’s 1995 conviction for robbing the Kentucky Fried Chicken in El Dorado.
Before his trial date, Voisin was free on a $25,000 bond. He was ordered not to enter the Towanda city limits, not to leave the state, and to remain within Sedgwick and Butler counties.
On Friday, Voisin pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds and making a false information. In exchange for his plea, the prosecution dropped charges of theft by deception and unlawful computer acts.
Voisin, 58, told Judge Mike Ward that he took the money because of a gambling habit. Ward told Voisin that the most serious charge, misuse of public funds, carries a prison term of between 31 and 136 months and a fine of up to $300,000. Judge Ward said he would probably order that the money be paid back to the city rather than issuing a fine.
A pre-sentence evaluation was ordered. Voisin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22. He is free on bond.