Ex-City View tax collector’s embezzlement trial postponed

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The trial of the former City View Independent School District tax collector will be delayed after a judge granted a request for an extension.

89th District Judge Charles Barnard granted defense attorney Ed Lane’s motion for an extension to have Judith Heaston’s case removed from the docket for this month’s trial.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for the case on Thursday, September 1, but has been reset.

In seeking an extension, Lane cited his client’s request for expert witnesses, his resignation from office, and a medical issue.

Heaston was arrested in 2019 after City View Superintendent Tony Bushong uncovered major discrepancies involving large sums of money in tax office accounts.

After an internal investigation, it was determined that there was a shortfall of approximately $340,000 in collected tax revenue. The president of the tax software company told investigators that the software had been manipulated to hide the discrepancies and that manipulation dated back at least 8 years.

A check from Heaston’s personal bank account showed numerous large cash deposits during tax office hours since 2002.

Heaston was arrested on February 6, 2019, after Bushong said he received a lengthy text message from Heaston admitting to the thefts and saying she was “leaving this earth” to save her family from humiliation.

Heaston allegedly told Bushong where the keys, files and money were.

Wichita County Sheriff David Duke and a WCSO deputy visited Heaston at her home.

Duke says when they got to her house, they found her garage locked and a vehicle running, so they broke in and found her in the car with the windows down and the garage full of exhaust. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

A deputy said that when he later asked Heaston what happened to the money, she told him it was missing.

Esther L. Steinbach