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Former Hector city administrator faces embezzlement charge

OLIVIA — The Renville County Attorney’s Office has filed felony charges of embezzlement of public funds and theft – false representation against the former city administrator of Hector.

Barbara Hoyhtya, 60, of Hector, resigned her position as administrator in June in the midst of an audit of the city’s finances.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in District Court, Renville County charges that Hoyhtya collected $7,160 in funds from the city that she had falsely claimed as expenses in 2012.

Hoyhtya wrote a check for the amount to reimburse the city on July 15, 2013. Hector Mayor Steve Squibb told investigators she told him she had submitted false requests for reimbursement, and was voluntarily resigning, according to the complaint.

The defendant told a Renville County Sheriff’s investigator that she had used the money to pay household bills, the complaint states.

A large portion of the reimbursement claims were for mileage and travel expenses. She claimed to have traveled to Moorhead, West Fargo, N.D., and Fergus Falls to meet with an engineer regarding a project. The engineer reported that he had met with the administrator, but at locations in Willmar, Buffalo Lake or Hector on those occasions.

Hoyhtya had served as administrator in Hector for approximately six years prior to resigning. Since then, she has applied for city administrator positions in communities including in East Grand Forks and Crookston.

Prior to her position in Hector, Hoyhtya had been city administrator in Canby. She lost her position there in May 2007 when the council voted 3-2 to terminate her contract.

She is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Dec. 2.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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