After almost a year and a half, District Attorney Jon Alexander has decided to dismiss and refile charges against Eileen Silvey, who is accused of embezzling federal funds from the Del Norte Senior Center.
The decision came after concerns over the specific charges filed against her and whether they could be appealed if she were convicted, Alexander said.
Her previous embezzlement charges related specifically to siphoning state funds, but the money she is accused of taking came from the federal government, Alexander said.
Alexander filed 10 embezzlement charges under a statute that is broader, along with four second-degree burglary charges and a single forgery count.
"There appeared to be no case law on the issue," said Alexander. "Although it provides for the same penalties, we thought that the possibility it could be overturned on that did exist. We made a decision to ensure that possibility did not arise. I know the case has languished. I feel bad about that."
Silvey is innocent, said her attorney, Karen Olson.
"I'm a little upset it took them two years to come to the same conclusion I came to by looking at the case for two months," said Olson.
"Bottom line, it's a gigantic waste of resources; my client paid me attorney fees," said Olson. "We're basically going to have to start the whole case over."
Silvey has been accused of taking $6,576 in public funds for personal use, such as to buy a tennis bracelet, have her car detailed and buy food, among other purchases, according to court records.
Reach Anthony Skeens at firstname.lastname@example.org.