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A former Casper city worker who embezzled nearly $20,000 pleaded guilty Wednesday as part of a deal that could keep her out of prison.

Heather M. Kirkendall, 38, entered her plea to a felony theft charge in Natrona County District Court, where she appeared free on bond.

As part of Kirkendall’s plea deal, attorneys on both sides will ask that she serve three years of probation in lieu of two to four years imprisonment. If she pays approximately $19,000 in restitution by the time of her sentencing hearing, the suspended sentence will be reduced to a term of 18 months to three years.

Kirkendall admitted Wednesday to taking cash payments that were meant for her employer, the City of Casper. She said she had spent some of the money for her personal use.

Kirkendall worked in the city’s Community Development Department from December 2014 through October 2017, according to court filings in the case. Individual receipts issued from the office did not match the worksheets she submitted to bankers during a 17-month period between May 2016 and October 2017, the court filings state.

During the same time period, Kirkendall deposited $9,272 in cash to her bank account, according to the filings.

Two city employees met with Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents on Nov. 15 and said they’d noticed discrepancies in paperwork regarding payments for permits. Receipts had been written for cash payments to the city, but those payments were not recorded on another city document, the court documents state.

Kirkendall was the person responsible for handling the documents related to those payments, the employees told investigators.

Kirkendall has not worked for the city since November.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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