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Ex-clerk for Virgin has case dismissed

ST. GEORGE — The case against former Virgin town clerk Stacy Noelle Higbee was dismissed Monday after county prosecutors failed to alert the judge of a scheduling mishap.

Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham dismissed the case without prejudice after learning of the scheduling error.

Washington County deputy attorney Paul Christensen, who is assigned to Higbee's case, was involved in a jury trial at the same time he was supposed to be in Beacham's courtroom. The mix-up means Christensen will have to re-file the case.

Higbee was charged with one second-degree felony count of misuse of public funds after auditors said she received about $18,000 in advance wages that were later repaid to the town.

Former Virgin Mayor Jay Lee also was charged with one second-degree felony count of misuse of public funds for arranging the deal with Higbee. Lee gave Higbee $2,500 of his own money to pay off the debt, Christensen said during Lee's resolution hearing.

Lee pleaded no contest to one class A misdemeanor charge of attempted misuse of public funds on Aug. 28. He also pleaded guilty to one class A misdemeanor count of attempted tampering with a witness. Lee immediately resigned his seat and agreed to testify truthfully in Higbee's case.

Lee will be sentenced Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.