No jail time in theft of $400,000 from Snohomish water association

SNOHOMISH — A man accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a private water association in east Snohomish County pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Jesse Orvic Rowe, 76, of Snohomish, was convicted of first-degree theft, a felony.

He completed 240 hours of community service in lieu of a 30-day jail sentence. He also agreed to pay the water association $300,000 after civil mediation.

Prosecutors cited aggravating factors in the crime, saying that it was a major economic offense and involved the abuse of a position of trust, court records say.

Prosecutors had recommended a year in prison.

Rowe ran the Roosevelt Water Association for 25 years. The nonprofit buys water from the city of Everett and then sells it to its members.

Rowe used water association money to pay his credit card bills, court records show. He also used the money for gardening supplies, car repairs, gasoline and utility bills.

The missing funds were discovered in late 2012 as the water association was working on a loan for a construction project. No one aside from Rowe had reviewed the association’s financial transactions for years.

In court papers, Rowe was said to have interpreted the board of trustees’ “silence or ambivalence” as a sign that his additional compensation was appropriate.

Rowe completed the community service hours at Boy Scouts of America camps, records show. He built platforms and railings for the camps and helped design, build and install bunk beds.

Court papers indicate that Rowe sold his house to make the restitution. He had no previous criminal history.

The water association serves about 1,000 homes in unincorporated east county.

Reporter Diana Hefley contributed to this story.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

He drank nearly a gallon of vodka, then grabbed a cop’s gun

He got pummeled for that. Police had been trying to keep him on a gurney for an ambulance ride.

Police seek witnesses to hit-and-run

An 88-year-old woman was hurt when a Prius turned right at an intersection and struck her walker.

Lake Stevens man killed in crash near Highway 92 identified

Kristofor Nordgren, of Lake Stevens, was driving his Subaru when it hit a truck and a Ford Focus.

Most Read