BRADENTON -- Stephany West, former Bradenton Housing Authority projects director, is now scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9 after a change of date announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office. She was initially scheduled to be sentenced June 30.
There was no information available Friday as to the reason for the date change, according to Amy Filjones, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa.
West in March pleaded guilty to one count of theft of federal funds after a lengthy investigation of financial improprieties at the BHA involving herself and former Executive Director Wenston DeSue. The pair were romantically involved at the time of the investigation and have since married.
DeSue in June pleaded guilty to an identical charge and is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 2 at the federal courthouse in Tampa.
Combined, the pair have admitted in open court to stealing more than $380,000 of public funds by illegally doctoring payroll documents and being paid for missed time at work. DeSue and West took vacations, day trips and ran personal errands while charging the BHA for time worked.
In the final year of investigation, DeSue missed work 60 percent of the time, while West missed up to 75 percent of the time and yet cashed in vacation and sick days that should have been used for their work absences.
The guilty pleas were part of a deal with prosecutors not to file additional charges. Both agreed to pay full restitution to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
It was noted at their plea hearings U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew is not obligated to accept the plea bargains at sentencing.
DeSue and West each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter@urbanmark2014.