Records request pinpoints suspect

Alleged embezzler was fired Tuesday

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COEUR d'ALENE - By process of elimination, The Press has determined who's accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the city of Coeur d'Alene.

A public records request from The Press shows Sheryl Carroll as the Finance Department employee who was fired Tuesday. The request, submitted Tuesday, asked for a list of all city finance employees on Friday, July 20, and a list of all finance employees on Wednesday, July 25. Carroll was the only employee who was not on both lists.

The investigation of the alleged embezzlement, headed by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, is still open, and the city is not releasing the name of the employee because of personnel rules.

Asked Wednesday whether any other city finance employee has left the department in the last few weeks other than the terminated position, City Attorney Mike Gridley said there hadn't been.

"Nobody else," he said. "We're a very stable employee group."

When news of the suspected embezzlement broke last week, Gridley said the suspected employee was involved in payroll processing and had worked for the city since 2002.

The city's human resource department said Wednesday that Carroll was hired Oct. 17, 2002.

Carroll was earning $23.41 an hour at the time she was fired.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Carroll hung up on a Press reporter.

The employee suspected of embezzling, identified in previous stories as a female, was terminated Tuesday after she did not show up for a personnel meeting with city department heads Monday afternoon to address the allegations she stole city funds.

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