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Wife of ex-mayor granted diversion in faked ticket case

December 24, 2020 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The wife of a former Kansas mayor who resigned abruptly before the couple was charged with making fake tickets to attend a zoo fundraiser has been granted diversion in the case.

Elizabeth Blubaugh has to pay $945 in restitution to the Sedgwick County Zoo plus other fees, attend and complete a theft education program and perform 40 hours of community service as the part of the agreement, The Wichita Eagle reports.

Her husband, Jamey Blubaugh, is scheduled for a bench trial next month. He resigned in August as the mayor of Goddard, a suburb of Wichita, citing conflicts with the city administrators. The misdemeanor counterfeiting charges were filed against the couple two days later.

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The diversion agreement said the couple made fake tickets to the zoo’s annual after-hours Zoobilee charity fundraiser in 2019 and gave them to at least seven other people to use.

The fake tickets included the same serial number as the real pass, which cost $140 a piece to purchase.

According to an arrest affidavit released this fall, the Blubaughs initially told law enforcement they’d sold the real ticket with that serial number to an unknown woman.

But months later a disgruntled former employee who worked for the real estate office where the fake tickets were copied told authorities the couple made them.