NORFOLK, Neb (KCAU) — The Norfolk City Council has officially issued a statement about alleged fraud surrounding the bussing nonprofit to which the city provides financial support.

It is alleged that between April 2022 and December 2022, the former director of North Fork Area Transit stole more than $700,000. The director has since been suspended and the state has helped to take over the operations of the bus service.

“The system is suffering for the alleged theft by its former director, and it’s clear that significant management and restructuring reforms need to be made to ensure something like this can never happen again,” the city said in a statement.

The statement said that the city has heard from those who are concerned that they will lose access to the service, including elderly people who rely on the bus to get to medical appointments and children who need the bus to get to school. The city is currently working with NFAT’s Mobility Management Team and community partners to ensure that the services are continued.

NFAT is a nonprofit operated by a board of directors. In December, the president of the nonprofit discovered that Jeffery D. Stewart, 31, of Norfolk had allegedly used his credit card to make unauthorized purchases. These purchases included tens of thousands of dollars at casinos.

The city has already approved paying its annual allotment to the bus service, which ordinarily would have been paid on an annual basis. At the time the legal council for NFAT told the Norfolk City Council that they would not be able to pay their employees if the city did not allot its entire payment at the same time.