Plea date set in August for Richards | News – Arizona News

Plea date set in August for Richards | News – Arizona News

KINGMAN — A change of plea hearing was set Tuesday for a former Kingman city employee accused of stealing $1.1 million from city funds.

Diane Maxine Richards, 60, is charged with 18 counts of theft, three counts of forgery and two counts of misuse of public money. 

Richards’ attorney, Adam Zickerman, said he gave a counter-offer to the prosecutor’s plea offer but it was rejected. He asked to set a change of plea hearing, saying he was confident that details of a plea agreement could be tweaked.

Superior Court Commissioner Billy Sipe Jr. set the hearing for Aug. 25.

At a settlement conference in May, prosecutors offered a plea agreement in which Richards would plead guilty to three counts of theft and face a prison sentence between three years and nine years and three months. She would also plead guilty to a fourth count of theft and receive probation for up to seven years.

Richards, who was a budget analyst for the city’s finance department, allegedly diverted more than $1.1 million from the City of Kingman’s bank account from July 2007 to November 2015, using a city credit card to cover her personal expenses. The account was used by the city to fund the employee benefits trust. Richards was fired in November 2015. 

Richards allegedly stole the money to make payments to personal lines of credit from several banks and department stores from July 2007 to November 2015.

She also allegedly withdrew cash at Laughlin casinos and other locations to gamble at slot machines in July. August and September 2015. She also used the city’s credit…

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