Shorelands Program at the Washington Department of Ecology employee charged with embezzlement www.privateofficer.com
Peta Crites, 33, of Olympia, is suspected of making unauthorized expenditures using state-issued procurement cards to purchase alcohol, gift cards and other items, court papers state.
She is charged with one count of first-degree theft in Thurston County Superior Court. Her arraignment is scheduled for April 24.
According to court papers:
A detective with the Washington State Patrol began investigating unauthorized expenditures from DOE’s Shorelands Program in March 2011, after a supervisor discovered itemized receipts for items DOE does not typically pay for, including beer, wine and gift cards.
As the former senior secretary for the Shorelands Program, Crites was in charge of verifying and coding receipts for procurement cards used by Conservation Corps crews to purchase food during jobs across the state.
The supervisor at DOE discovered that Crites kept numerous procurement cards locked in the cabinet above her desk.
The WSP detective found that unauthorized DOE procurement card purchases were made at Macy’s, Toys R Us, the Outback Restaurant, Starbucks, a Shell station, Target, Applebee’s, Sears, Forever 21, Cabela’s and Home Depot, totalling $950.
The detective found that Crites had used a Target gift card that had been purchased using a state procurement card. The detective also found a cashier at a Safeway who identified Crites as the person who had made unauthorized purchases using a DOE procurement card in February 2011.
The investigation revealed a total loss amount to DOE between June 2010 and March 2011 totaling $7,960.