News 5 Investigates: Could the FBI compromise the prosecution of Fremont Clerk Katie Barr? 

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 15:50:52-04

The FBI has “no comment” on why it has failed to provide the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office with their investigation file on Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr.

As you may remember, Barr was arrested in March for embezzlement, fraud, harassment and witness intimidation.

Over a 7-year period, investigators say Barr embezzled county money for her family’s personal use through a process known as “check-kiting”.

Formal charges were supposed to be filed last week, but prosecutors asked a judge for more time as they have not received all of the information from the FBI which they say they need to proceed forwarded.

“The District Attorney has requested additional time to file charges in this matter as the investigative file presented to our office is incomplete,” 11th Judicial District Attorney Molly Chilson told News 5. “The District Attorney’s Office requested the FBI investigation in this case on February 13, March 29, April 13 and April 16. The report was not complete and ready for release on those dates. The District Attorney appreciates that our assisting law enforcement agency partners face heavy caseloads, as we do, together with numerous demands and priorities. Additionally, the District Attorney notes the FBI did not make the decision about the timing of the arrest in this case.”

News 5 reached out to the FBI to ask why it has not released the report to Fremont County investigators.

“Unfortunately, (we) cannot provide comment on it,” FBI spokesperson Amy Sanders said. “Please contact the DA’s office PIO for questions.”

Barr has an arraignment hearing May 30. It’s unclear if the FBI will turn over the report by that date.

Chilson reminds the public that “prosecutors have a special responsibility to ensure that every criminal defendant receives a fair trial.”

During an active case, the DA’s Office will typically refrain from making any comments that could compromise the integrity of an investigation.

However, Chilson did want to clarify that the “investigation thus far presented to the District Attorney does not show the defendant’s alleged actions caused any un-recouped financial loss to Fremont County.”

Chilson’s statement appears to suggest all of the money Barr took without authorization has been returned.