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Former Drug Counselor Faces Theft Charge

Claudia McBride, wife of Newport school superintendent Rich McBride, was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft for allegedly embezzling $4,707 from Pend Oreille County.

Prosecutor Tom Metzger said McBride took the money between Jan. 1, 1993, and Oct. 31, 1995, when she resigned as a drug-abuse prevention specialist in the county Mental Health Department.

A state auditor’s report said McBride deducted cash from bank deposits, wrote county checks to herself and issued checks to vendors for personal expenses.

Spokane attorney Carl Oreskovich, who represents McBride, said she plans to restore the missing funds. He declined to comment on how McBride will answer the criminal charge.

“This is a very tragic situation to happen to somebody who is a very nice and kind individual,” Oreskovich said. “There are a lot of mitigating circumstances that are applicable in this case, and I intend to address those before the court.”

If convicted, McBride could get up to three months in jail under sentencing guidelines, Metzger said. She has no criminal record.

McBride is scheduled to be arraigned June 13.

, DataTimes

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