March 28, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Former senior center director accused of embezzlement

    A 51-year-old Kearney woman faces multiple charges in Phelps County Court related to the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Young at Heart Senior Center in Bertrand.  Consuello “Coni” Park has been charged with two counts of Felony Theft and 8 misdemeanor counts of 2nd Degree Forgery related to financial transactions from May 1, 2019 through July 2022 while she was the Director of the Senior Center.  

    An audit by the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts and Nebraska State Patrol investigation indicates that $34,246.98 in Senior Center funds were used to make various purchases by Park through Amazon and PayPal accounts for her own benefit.   The audit report suggests there were 623 questionable Amazon purchases and 321 questionable PayPal purchases.   Twelve of those questionable purchases were refunded.  The audit said some of the questionable purchases were for an iPhone, running shoes, laptop computer and FitBit smartwatch.

    An affidavit for arrest says Park also paid herself $628.94 above her Board approved wage through 8 payroll checks.

    In August 2022, Park was confronted by the Senior Center Board about the suspected mishandling of funds and she resigned the same day.   An audit of the funds was completed on February 13, 2023.

    Bond for Park was set at 10% of $100,000, which has been posted.   Her next hearing is set for February 22, 2023 at 2:15pm. in Phelps County Court.

Source: Nebraska Regional News