STANTON, Neb. -- Once a town hero, fired Pilger Village clerk Kimberly Neiman was sentenced to three years in prison Monday.

Initially charged with seven counts of theft and facing up to 120 years in prison for writing hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable checks on the village account, Neiman pleaded guilty to one count of attempted theft and was facing a maximum of four years behind bars entering Monday's hearing.

In 2014, after twin tornadoes ripped apart the tiny northeast Nebraska town, Neiman was considered the glue that kept folks together.

At one point she blamed her legal problems on the storm, telling investigators that a lot had happened after the town was all but destroyed and she really wasn’t sure “what had happened.”

As part of her sentence, she was also ordered to repay just over $44,000 in restitution to the Village of Pilger and Pilger Fire Department. She was charged with misspending $700,000 in village funds.