The embezzlement case against Eileen Silvey, who was accused of siphoning money from a federal weatherization program, started with thunderclouds but ended with a light mist.
Silvey was sentenced to a year of informal probation on a misdemeanor forgery charge as part of a plea deal Thursday. She was originally charged with 46 felony counts of embezzlement, burglary and forgery in August 2011.
Silvey was accused of taking public funds to buy a tennis bracelet, have her car detailed and buy food, among other purchases. She was formerly the Del Norte Senior Center program manager and oversaw several federal energy programs intended to help people with low incomes pay their utility bills and weatherize their homes.
A few months later, District Attorney Jon Alexander dropped 28 of the charges.
Then, last December, Alexander dismissed the whole case and refiled with 15 counts, including embezzlement and second-degree burglary charges and a single forgery count.
The case has now come to a resolution at the hands of Acting District Attorney Katie Micks. Alexander was suspended from the his office in April by the Board of Supervisors after a State Bar judge recommended he be disbarred, a ruling he is appealing.
"The case against Ms. Silvey was 19 months old when it was filed and then languished for 18 months in the court system," said Micks in a prepared statement. "During those 18 months, the senior center disclosed that the credit card used by Silvey was in fact her personal card, and not the responsibility of the senior center. Therefore, her use of the card for personal items would not be embezzlement. Additionally, two necessary witnesses refused to cooperate and testify."
The amount alleged to have been embezzled was $2,700, which Silvey had paid back prior to charges being filed, Micks stated.
If Silvey successfully completes her year of informal probation, she may withdraw her no contest plea and the conviction will likely be dismissed.
Reach Anthony Skeens at firstname.lastname@example.org .