Former Norfolk Transit System GM Accused Of Embezzling $740K Surrenders


      The former manager of Norfolk-based North Fork Area Transit, who fled to Mexico after being accused of embezzling more than $740,000 from it, has turned himself in. 

     The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says 32-year old Jeffrey Stewart surrendered voluntarily Friday to U-S Border Patrol agents after returning from Mexico – where he’d spoken with Sheriff’s Office investigators by phone. He’s awaiting extradition proceedings back to Nebraska.

      Court documents show that Stewart is suspected of stealing the money between April and December of last year by using a business credit card to pay for personal expenses, including charges from casinos and airlines. 

       Stewart, active in the Norfolk community and a strong advocate for the transit system since it started in 2021, was suspended as general manager shortly after the investigation began in early December, then fled the area.

      North Fork was forced to suspend operations on Jan 6 because it could no longer fund basic operations. A fundraising effort was launched and raised $500,000 that was matched by the Johnny Carson Foundation – also based in Norfolk.

       The money allowed North Fork to pay off its debts, hire drivers, and resume operations in April after selling off unneeded vehicles and trimming staff to just 14 full-time employees and a few part-timers.

        North Fork board Vice President Lacy Kimes told the Norfolk Daily News that as of July 8, it was providing about 570 rides per week through its TeleLift service while planning to expand services as ridership grows. The search continues for a new GM.