Springdale officials face felony charges for allegedly mishandling funds

Published: Monday, Feb. 11 2013 6:45 p.m. MST

SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Two town officials face felony charges for allegedly mismanaging cash fines collected from foreign tourists at traffic stops, according to the Utah Attorney General's Office.

Springdale town manager Richard Wixom and Police Chief Kurt Wright each are charged with one third-degree felony count of failing to pay over public money, according to charges filed Monday in 5th District Court.

According to court documents, officers acting under the direction of Wixom and Wright collected $33,158 in cash bail between July 2006 and October 2011. That money was then handed over to the town's treasurer and deposited into town funds, rather than going to the Hurricane Justice Court to be allocated between state and local entities. 

Wright told investigators the practice of collecting cash bails had been authorized by a now-retired judge, charges state. The unnamed judge told investigators he did not authorize cash-bail collection.

Bail has been set at $5,000 each, according to the attorney general's office.

McKenzie Romero

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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