Claudia McBride, wife of Newport school Superintendent Rich McBride, pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree theft.
She admitted embezzling $4,707 from Pend Oreille County between Jan. 1, 1993, and Oct. 31, 1995, as a drug-abuse prevention specialist in the county Mental Health Department.
Prosecutor Tom Metzger read a statement in court in which state auditors said McBride, 41, told them she committed the crime because she was contemplating suicide.
“I messed up all these transactions so that I would get caught,” McBride told the auditors. “Then I would have a good reason to kill myself. I have been trying to commit suicide for the last three or four years, and I have not been able to do it. Now I can.”
Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson sentenced McBride to 240 hours of community service and two years of probation. He also ordered her to continue mental health counseling.
Metzger said McBride presented a check, repaying the money she stole, plus another $13,060 to cover audit costs.