Former Idaho City Clerk Tammy Ellsworth has been charged with eight counts of felony misuse of public funds, according to court documents. She’s accused of taking about $3,735 in total between late September 2015 and early May.
In a criminal complaint filed on Sept. 20, Boise County prosecutors say Ellsworth stole money by improperly issuing city checks and altering deposit slips to lower amounts. She resigned earlier this year amid an investigation by Idaho State Police.
Ellsworth was hired to be city clerk in July 2002. She was paid $16 an hour, Mayor Phillip Canody told the Statesman earlier this year.
Canody said Tuesday that he could not immediately answer questions about whether the city has done an internal audit or adopted any new policies and practices aimed at preventing theft.
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The criminal complaint filed against Ellsworth says she improperly issued six checks to herself. The amounts of the checks were: $191.21, $1,065.74, $615.80, $778.36, $365.66 and $73.64.
It also accuses her of twice altering deposit slips, only providing a bank a portion of the city’s cash intended for deposit. She allegedly took $100 from one $356 deposit, and $545 from an $845 deposit.
Ellsworth was issued a court summons. She’ll be arraigned on Oct. 24, according to online court records.
Misuse of public funds carries different penalties depending on whether or not a person’s job involves “the receipt, safekeeping and disbursement of public moneys” — and the amount stolen. Those convicted of stealing more than $300 face penalties of one to 14 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
County theft case paused
There were also two cases of missing money in the Boise County Clerk’s Office last year.
Last October, former county clerk’s office employee Rana Klingner was charged with two felony counts of grand theft. Klingner was accused of wrongfully taking cash, checks and/or money orders in the amount of $46,922.33 over a two-year period.
A five-day jury trial was set for June but it was vacated, and a new date has not been set, according to online court records.
About a month later, $1,700 in cash went missing as it was being transferred from the county clerk’s office to the treasurer’s office, which are in the same building. Two employees — one in the clerk’s office, the other in the treasurer’s office — were later fired.