Idaho

Ex-Human Services Chief Faces Federal Theft Charges

Susan Marie Ohman, former director of the Human Services Center here is scheduled to appear in court on Friday on federal theft charges.

Federal officials said she was indicted after a two-year investigation and more than two years after she resigned the center.

She is scheduled for arraignment in Coeur d’Alene.

The indictment alleges she misused $9,791 that was earmarked for Head Start and other children’s programs to pay for new windows and a new roof on a Driggs house owned by her ex-husband.

If convicted, Ohman could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $25,000, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Haycock.

The Human Services Center leased the house for 28 months until it was sold for a $21,000 profit. Haycock said no charges are anticipated against Susan Ohman’s ex-husband, Idaho Falls attorney and former Idaho Transportation Board member John Ohman.

John Ohman has reached an out-of-court settlement with the Human Services Center in which he agreed to reimburse the agency, said Karel Olsen, the center’s director.

John Ohman told the Post Register in 1993 he agreed to buy and house and continue renting it to Head Start only after receiving approval from federal officials.

Olsen said the Human Services Center is reimbursing the federal government $19,875, which should be complete this year.

A percentage of federal grants normally awarded to the center have been restricted in installment payments. The center has made up that loss of funds in private donations.

The Human Services Center board of directors put Susan Ohman on probation in 1992 after an audit found faulty accounting, including the cashing of checks with forged signatures, and unreimbursed pay advances.



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