Local news

Tribe’s ex-ambulance director faces theft charges

LeBret enters not guilty plea

The former longtime director of the Spokane Tribe’s ambulance service faces federal charges of embezzling funds from the organization.

Jack L. LeBret, 60, who was director of the Spokane Tribal EMS Department and a former deputy coroner for Stevens County, pleaded not guilty this week to four counts of embezzling more than $1,000.

Court documents don’t indicate how much LeBret is alleged to have stolen from the ambulance service, and Frank Harrill, supervisory senior resident agent of the Spokane office of the FBI, said he could not discuss specifics of the case.

Harrill said federal agents worked with the Salish Safe Trails Task Force, which includes detectives from the Spokane, Colville Confederated and Kalispel tribes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice said the amount LeBret is accused of stealing remains in dispute. He declined to elaborate.

LeBret – who was previously elected to the Wellpinit School District board – is charged under a sealed indictment, and federal authorities have not released any documents that would explain why federal investigators believed they had probable cause to bring criminal charges.

LeBret was indicted early this month of four counts of theft from an Indian tribal organization and received a summons to appear in court. On Monday, he was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno.

The charges stem from thefts of tribal funds in 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to court records.

Spokane Tribe spokeswoman Jamie Sijohn said LeBret is not a tribal member and has been removed as director of the ambulance service. However, she couldn’t say when that took place.

Asked for comment, Sijohn would only say that it is an FBI investigation. “I think I need to leave it at that.”

Trial has been set for July 18. Efforts to reach LeBret late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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