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Ex-city manager will plead guilty

DALLAS -- Former Dallas city manager Jerry Wyatt, accused of theft and official misconduct, is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in Polk County Circuit Court Wednesday (today).

January 30, 2013

DALLAS -- Former Dallas city manager Jerry Wyatt, accused of theft and official misconduct, is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in Polk County Circuit Court Wednesday (today).

Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton said Wyatt was expected to plead guilty to three counts of first-degree theft, a felony, one count of misdemeanor official misconduct, and one count of misdemeanor falsifying business records.

Wyatt's change of plea hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday after the Itemizer-Observer went to press.

Jerry Wyatt

Jerry Wyatt

Wyatt had been facing nine counts of first-degree theft, two-counts of second-degree theft, one count of first-degree official misconduct, and one count of falsifying business records. A charge of first-degree theft indicates that an amount equal to $1,000 or more was stolen.

Six counts of first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree theft were to be dismissed.

Felton said Wyatt was to be sentenced to prison time Wednesday, but wouldn't specify for how long.

Wyatt resigned as Dallas city manager on July 2, 2012, amid accusations he used city resources to buy items for personal use.

Later that month, a Polk County grand jury indicted him on 17 aggravated theft, computer crime, official misconduct, and falsifying business records charges. Wyatt turned himself into police July 26 and was briefly in custody at Polk County Jail before posting bail.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) took over prosecution of the case last fall and a new indictment was issued Nov. 14 with fewer charges. The indictment shows the crimes Wyatt was accused of occurred from January 2011 to June 2012.

Wyatt's attorney, Howard Collins, and DOJ prosecutor B.J. Park met with Polk County Circuit Judge Sally Avera last week for a status hearing. Collins did not return calls for comment following the hearing.

Wyatt had been Dallas' city manager since 2007. Before serving as city manager, he had been the city's community development director for nine years.

More details on the plea and sentencing will be available on the Itemizer-Observer's website following the hearing and in the Feb. 6 edition.

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