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Schools Chief’s Wife Suspect In Theft

Tue., Jan. 30, 1996

Claudia McBride, wife of Newport school superintendent Rich McBride, is suspected of embezzling about $5,000 in county money.

McBride has been suspended with pay from her $19,801-a-year part-time job as an alcohol- and drug-abuse specialist in the Pend Oreille County Mental Health Department.

Rich McBride declined to comment Monday. Attempts to contact his wife’s attorney, Carl Oreskovich of Spokane, were unsuccessful.

County Commissioner Karl McKenzie moved Monday to cut off Claudia McBride’s pay, but commissioners dropped the issue after conferring with county Prosecutor Tom Metzger.

“It appears fairly likely that there may be a resignation forthcoming,” Metzger told The Spokesman-Review. “I expect that here shortly.”

Commissioners already have changed the description of McBride’s job and advertised for candidates.

Metzger said McBride’s resignation would have no effect on possible criminal charges.

Commissioners said a state audit found money was taken from a revolving fund over several years by falsifying reimbursement documents.

McBride held her job about three years before quitting for about nine months to teach in Spokane’s East Valley School District. She returned to the county job in July.

“The whole thing is just bizarre,” Commission Chairman Mike Hanson said. “Between her and her husband, their gross income is probably in excess of $100,000.”

, DataTimes

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