Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

In brief: Ex-CdA payroll coordinator sentenced

A former Coeur d’Alene city payroll coordinator who embezzled $365,000 in city funds was sentenced Monday to 40 months in prison for wire fraud.

The sentence is one month shy of the maximum under federal sentencing guidelines.

Sheryl Lynn Carroll, 52, also was ordered to pay full restitution to the city.

“We believe this is a fair and just sentence,” City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said in a news release. “Carroll committed a crime and in the process violated the trust of the public and of her co-workers. She absolutely deserves this punishment.”

Carroll pleaded guilty Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court to six counts of wire fraud. A city employee since 2002, she made 120 fraudulent transfers from 2007 to 2012. Carroll diverted money from city bank accounts to a personal account instead of transferring those funds to vendors.

“This was a complex embezzlement,” Gabriel said. “It involved balancing multiple books, a high level of planning, sophistication and manipulation.”

During the city’s investigation, Carroll was repeatedly asked about the missing money and failed to provide answers.

“She lied to us for four days,” Gabriel said. “When we put the pieces together ourselves, only then, knowing she could no longer lie, did she go to the city attorney and admit she did something wrong.”

The city’s finance department has put in place more procedures to prevent fraud.

Two arrested in teens’ shootings

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said two teenagers were shot Sunday night in the town of George, Wash.

Deputies arrested one adult and one juvenile suspected of shooting the boy and girl outside a home.

The 16-year-old boy who was shot suffered wounds to his torso, knee and face, the Sheriff’s Office said. The 14-year-old girl suffered one gunshot wound to her torso. Hector M. Contreras Rodriguez, 21, of Quincy, is in custody at the Grant County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, the release said. Another suspect, a 16-year-old boy, is also in custody.

Tax panel votes to exempt Girl Scouts

BOISE – The Idaho House’s tax committee voted unanimously Monday to introduce legislation to remove Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax from Girl Scout cookies.

Whether the bill will get a hearing remains unclear.

Idaho is one of just two states – Hawaii is the other – that taxes the annual Girl Scouts cookie-sale fundraiser. The Scouts say that means 22 cents from every $3.75 box of cookies goes to the state of Idaho, rather than to Girl Scout programs.

Bills toughen child-trafficking laws

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate tried to strengthen laws against human trafficking Monday, approving a pair of bills that would crack down on sex crimes involving children.

In the first of two unanimous votes, the Senate agreed to add a fine of up to $5,000 on top of other penalties for anyone convicted of paying for sex with a minor who used an Internet ad to arrange the act. The bill is a response to a court’s rejection of a law passed last year that tried to restrict and penalize the websites that carry the ads.

The Senate then passed a bill that would expand penalties for people who recruit minors to become prostitutes or those who patronize them.

Slain Moses Lake man identified

The Grant County coroner’s office has identified the man shot to death in his Moses Lake home Saturday as 60-year-old Steven Lynn Hughes.

Sheriff’s deputies were called Saturday to the scene of an assault at a home in Cascade Valley. Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said the shooting is not believed to be random. No one has been arrested.