Fremont Clerk accepts plea deal in check writing scandal; No jail time


Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr accepted a plea deal in a check writing scandal News 5 Investigates first uncovered in the fall of 2017.

After a six-month long investigation, Barr was arrested in March for embezzlement, check fraud, witness intimidation and harassment.

District Attorney Molly Chilson said she felt a lesser charge of "issuance of a bad check" was more appropriate. She said the prosecution could not prove check fraud and that harassment and witness intimidation charges were not appropriate in this case.

Barr pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of issuing a bad check just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. As part of the plea agreement, Barr was give a 1-year deferred sentence with unsupervised probation. She will also be required to take a financial management course, complete 100 hours of community service and pay a $750 fine.  

Barr has also been ordered not to write any checks to any county government office.

If she violates any of the terms outlined in the plea agreement, she could face up to six months in jail.

"Had this practice continued, I can't help but wonder if this would have caught up with you Miss Barr," Judge Ramsey Lama said.

A criminal investigation revealed Barr had written more than $200,000 in checks to cover insufficient funds in her and her husband's personal and business accounts over a six-year period. However, the District Attorney's Office claims Barr has paid back all the money and that no funds are missing from the county office.

The misdemeanor conviction does not disqualify Barr from collecting her pay check from the county. She will remain in office until her term expires in January 2019, unless she decides to resign earlier.


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