Preliminary hearing set for Wards
Former Northeastern Health System Sequoyah (NHSS) administrator Julie Ward and her husband, Robert Ward, did not appear in person for a disposition docket scheduled for Wednesday before Associate District Judge Kyle Waters.
The couple is represented by their respective attorneys. Julie Ward is being represented by Fourth Scoufos and Robert Ward is represented by Mike Daffin. While they did not appear in court Wednesday, Waters has scheduled a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. June 18 in Sequoyah County District Court before Special District Judge Matt Orendorff.
The couple was charged in March with knowingly concealing stolen property after they were questioned by investigators about a Kubota tractor that had been stolen in Muskogee County in February. They have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Julie Ward resigned her position as administrator/CEO of NHSS in April.
A witness told authorities he had seen the tractor in question being loaded onto a trailer being hauled by a long bed Dodge pickup. Another witness later reported seeing a similar tractor being driven down a county road, followed by a black Honda Ridgeline.
This led investigators to the Ward home after one of the investigators reported he was familiar with a black Honda Ridgeline pickup owned by Robert Ward.
When authorities went to the Ward home, they questioned Julie Ward about a Kubota tractor sitting near their home. She reportedly told investigators they had had the tractor for three or four years. Robert Ward was not home at the time investigators initially questioned Julie Ward, but he showed up later.
According to court documents,when investigators questioned him about the tractor, Robert Ward told investigators he had only had the tractor a couple of days, and he had paid a man from Muskogee $2,000 as a down payment and brought the tractor home to try it out.