The money -- $395 -- later was returned.
"There was no loss of city funds from the incident," Gold Bar Mayor Joe Beavers said Monday.
The city's utility clerk on July 12 discovered that some deposits had not been made. The deposit envelopes were found in the desk of the city clerk with $395 missing, according to police reports. The woman eventually told a sheriff's office deputy that she borrowed the money to pay a personal bill and returned it July 13 when she learned that it was reported missing.
Deputies investigated the case as third-degree theft, a gross misdemeanor involving amounts less than $750 under Washington law.
"The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office has not forwarded the case to the prosecutor's office at this time," sheriff's office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
Gold Bar has a population of roughly 2,075 residents.
State officials also are looking into what happened, Beavers said.
"The state auditor's instruction on discussing this incident is like the (Duke) Ellington tune, "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me,'" Beavers said.
Police reports show the former clerk initially claimed to have found the missing money between some boxes and a file cabinet.
When she was told that a hidden camera provided evidence that refuted her account, she began to cry and said she took the money, according to an incident report.
"She said she had been receiving calls from a creditor, threatening collections, and that she could not wait until Thursday to pay the bill so she borrowed the money from those deposits and was going to replace it right away," the report said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, email@example.com
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