Ex-mayor in NE Washington sentenced for stealing funds

She said her husband left her, causing her to have a breakdown and fall into addiction.

Associated Press

SPRINGDALE, Wash. — The former mayor of Springdale in northeastern Washington was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail and to pay more than $15,000 in restitution for stealing public funds.

Elizabeth Calderwood, 43, pleaded guilty last month to six counts of theft and five counts of identity theft, according to court records, The Spokesman-Review reported.

Calderwood used a town credit card to transfer cash to herself, make fraudulent withdrawals of cash and to pay personal cellphone bills, among other things, according to court records.

The town’s finance committee prompted an investigation after noticing irregularities in late 2019, according to court records.

Calderwood was elected mayor in 2017. While Calderwood told the Spokesman-Review last June she was a “horrible record-keeper,” she apologized in court Monday.

“I created this huge mess for everyone … I will spend the rest of my life trying to make that right,” Calderwood said.

Calderwood said her husband left her, causing her to have a breakdown and fall into addiction.

When Stevens County Superior Court Judge Patrick A. Monasmith asked what her addiction had to do with committing the crimes, Calderwood said, “perpetual bad choices.”

Calderwood said she has since made major life changes and is more than 400 days sober.

Her attorney Stephen Graham said “she has felt the sting of public shame on this.”

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