A woman accused of multiple counts of financial fraud will have a trial by jury in Parker after settlement offers by the state fell through.
Jacqueline Nelson, a former secretary at Bouse Elementary School District, is accused of writing herself checks from District funds totalling more than $49,000. She was released on bond with some conditions attached, and a tentative plea agreement was reached which involved making restitution to the District.
Last week a lump sum reported to be around $15,000 was due to be paid by Nelson. Thursday morning her attorney admitted to a courtroom that she did not make the payment. Just prior to the hearing, the La Paz County Attorney’s office made a counter proposal which reportedly consisted of Nelson doing one year behind bars. Nelson refused the counter offer, which means the case now proceeds to trial.
Nelson will now have a full 12-person jury trial in La Paz County Superior Court, scheduled for late August, with 30 years of prison time at stake if the court ruled that the maximum term be served consecutively.
George Nault, president of the Bouse School District Board, says the District lost $68,000 including fees for full forensic auditing. “She robbed every child in the school,” he said. “And she thinks she can get away with it.”
Nelson’s trial is expected to last 4 or 5 days.