Districk embezzler arraigned, pleads not guilty | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Districk embezzler arraigned, pleads not guilty

Christina Proctor

Former Lake Tahoe Unified School District accounting technician Linda Marie Eddy plead not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday to the three felony counts of embezzlement, forgery, and appropriation of public funds pending against her.

El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Sean O’Brien said if convicted the 41-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident could face up to 5 years in state prison.

Eddy was first implicated in the embezzlement of more than $100,000 in school district funds in December. She was questioned by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Detective Brian Williams said Eddy admitted to the crime, citing personal finance problems as the reason.

The money was siphoned from the department of Child Nutritional Services. Pat Howard, director of the department, said on the first day of school, Sept. 10, she came across several canceled checks in the mail written to Eddy. Howard said the checks had her forged signature and that of Business Manager Ralph Johnson’s.

Eddy was placed on administrative leave soon after the discovery. She then resigned in September. She had worked for the district in various positions for about 12 years.

Investigators estimate the embezzlement started about three years ago. The school district employed independent auditors Smith & Perry of Sacramento to review food service office records. The audit went back four years and reportedly revealed many discrepancies.

A preliminary hearing of the case is set for Feb. 25 in El Dorado Municipal Court. O’Brien said in prosecuting the case he will accept no less than Eddy pleading to a felony charge.

“I will let the court decide what her punishment will be,” O’Brien said.

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