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State attorney general to try Allison case

 AG amends theft charge

by AMANDA WINTERS


The Washington State Attorney General’s Office will prosecute a theft case against a former Clallam County Sheriff’s Office evidence technician.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Marlow took the case against Staci Allison at the request of Clallam County Prosecutor Deb Kelly in August.

Allison is accused of stealing $8,644 from the evidence room after 129 empty evidence bags that once contained $51,251 were found stuffed in a plastic tube in 2006. One theft and one money laundering charge were filed in 2009 based on the amount the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office believes it can prove.

Kelly came under fire by defense attorney Ralph Anderson after Anderson discovered that Kelly’s husband, a former sheriff’s sergeant, conducted a clean-up of the evidence room after an investigative audit and found $5,000. A note involving the clean-up was contained in a “mystery box” of evidence made known to Anderson after the close of business on the Friday before the case was supposed to go to trial. The Sept. 13, 2010, trial was continued as the attorneys argued about the evidence box and Kelly’s husband’s involvement.

Judge Ken Williams ruled that while there was potential for an ethical conflict, there wasn’t enough evidence to remove Kelly from the case.

Marlow, who successfully tried a case against former treasurer’s cashier Catherine Betts in July, amended the charges against Allison to include aggravating factors to the count of first-degree theft.

In court documents, Marlow said the theft of which Allison is accused was a major economic offense because it involved a high degree of sophistication or planning, occurred over a lengthy period of time and the defendant used a position of trust to facilitate the theft.

Anderson objected to the amendment and said it wasn’t timely. He will argue to sever the counts at an Oct. 4 hearing.

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

 

 

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