Embezzlement suspect faces grand theft charge

Former employee worked for Kootenai County for 35 years

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COEUR d'ALENE - The Bonner County prosecutor said Wednesday he has filed one count of felony grand theft against Kootenai County's former chief deputy clerk and auditing supervisor Sandy Martinson.

Martinson, of Post Falls, is represented by defense attorney Frederick Loats, who confirmed the grand theft charge Wednesday but declined further comment.

The charge was filed in 1st District Court in Kootenai County, said Prosecutor Louis Marshall. He said she was not arrested and will appear voluntarily in court. Bonner County is handling the prosecution because Martinson was a Kootenai County employee for almost 35 years.

Martinson retired in November, with an ending annual salary of more than $66,000.

In a press conference last month, the Kootenai County commissioners and former county clerk-auditor Dan English said after Martinson retired auditors undertook a routine review of her records and discovered "irregularities" that led them to suspect embezzlement.

Coeur d'Alene police investigated for a month and determined about $139,000 was unaccounted for from a 10-year period. Detectives received for their review financial records dating from January 2000 to Oct. 31, 2010, police said.

As a chief deputy, Martinson had the authority to sign documents when English wasn't present. Much of her day-to-day duties included dealing with taxing districts.

Cliff Hayes is the new clerk, having defeated English in the recent election. Hayes selected Pat Raffee, of Post Falls, as the new chief deputy clerk.

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