Ex-Douglas deputy admits theft of bail money
A former Douglas County sheriff’s deputy and adult probation officer admitted Thursday she stole $3,107 in bail money and from a couple whose home she used to clean.
Misty Dee, 41, of Gardnerville entered a guilty plea to theft Thursday in East Fork Justice Court.
She is set for sentencing April 17 by Carson City Justice John Tatro, filling in for Justice Jim EnEarl who recused himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Dee was a 15-year deputy with the sheriff’s department before she went to work a year ago for the Department of Alternative Sentencing.
She resigned in November, shortly after the theft was discovered.
Dee faces up to six months in Douglas County Jail and a $1,000 fine. She also is eligible for probation.
She waived an arraignment on the charge and appeared in court with her lawyer, Derrick Lopez.
As part of a plea agreement, she agreed to make restitution Thursday.
Additional charges will not be filed as long as Dee violates no more laws.
The complaint was filed Thursday following an extensive investigation into the theft that was discovered Nov. 6, 2007, when a clerk discovered $2,000 was missing from an envelope that contained cash bail.
Several jail deputies submitted to polygraphs and DNA and handwriting samples before Dee was identified as the suspect.
Originally, she denied the allegation, but never returned to work and left several telephone and e-mail messages with coworkers that she had “screwed up” her life, according to an investigator’s report.
In an e-mail to her supervisor, she referred to a nervous breakdown.
In addition to the $2,000, Dee was accused of taking $1,000 over several months from a couple for whom she cleaned house.
The victims told investigators they were suspicious of Dee, and the thefts ended when they stopped having her clean their home.
Prosecutor Michael McCormick said a decision to charge her with a misdemeanor instead of a felony was reached with the agreement of the sheriff’s office and the other victims.
“It was totally a circumstantial case,” he said. “We had no real witnesses, and would have been in the position of trying to convince a jury to convict her because she was the most likely person.”
McCormick said Dee’s actions cast a shadow on several deputies during the investigation.
“She put the careers of several honest deputies in jeopardy by her actions,” he said. “Our investigators did a very thorough investigation and went hard on those guys. She raised a lot of suspicions for an awful lot of deputies.”