Connell's mayor pro tem faces a Dec. 5 trial in Franklin County Superior Court for allegedly embezzling at least $160,000 from a Mesa farm.
Monica Lou Pruett, 59, pleaded innocent Tuesday to first-degree theft and money laundering. Both charges allege aggravating circumstances that the crime involved a financial loss greater than is typical for the offense, involved several incidents and the defendant abused her position of trust and fiduciary responsibility.
She remains out of custody after posting $5,000 bond and turning in her passport to the Franklin County jail.
Pruett, owner and operator of a bookkeeping business, was charged last week after her arrest by Franklin County sheriff's detectives.
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The more than three-month investigation began after the sheriff's office was contacted by the owner of D&S Farms who found his farm owed about $100,000 to a Yakima company, court documents said.
Bill Swenson began looking at his books and reportedly discovered extra money had been paid to Pruett's business, Lierman Business Services.
Pruett was supposed to be paid $200 a month by the farm for bookkeeping and accounting services, documents said.
The theft allegedly happened between June 2005 and April 2012. Swenson claimed Pruett used D&S Farm checks to pay her personal and business property taxes and power bills, documents stated.
Man pleads innocent to shooting other man
A 41-year-old suspect accused of shooting a man in the chest last year pleaded innocent Tuesday to one count of first-degree assault.
Edgar Martinez faces an Oct. 10 trial in Franklin County Superior Court. His bail remained at $100,000.
According to court documents, Pasco police were called to Lourdes Medical Center at 8 p.m. March 31, 2011, after Israel Garcia went there to be treated for a gunshot wound.
Detectives discovered Martinez had shot Garcia in the chest with a pistol while Garcia was sitting in a car, documents said. A warrant was issued for Martinez's arrest. He was found in California and returned to Pasco last week.
Pasco man held on bail after trying to flee police
A 25-year-old Pasco man who led police on a high-speed chase through town with two children in his car is being held in the Franklin County jail on $50,000 bail.
Richard Vasquez pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to attempting to elude police and two counts of reckless endangerment. His trial is set for Sept. 26.
A Pasco officer clocked Vasquez on South Fifth Avenue at 10:40 a.m. going 58 mph in the 40-mph zone on Aug. 7, documents said. The officer tried to pull him over, but Vasquez sped away.
He continued onto A Street, traveling at speeds over 100 mph and running at least one stop sign and a red light, documents said.
Vasquez then lost control and hit a wooden Department of Transportation sign before finally stopping the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of Highway 12, documents said.
Two adult passengers got out carrying two children and walked toward the officer. Vasquez ran across the highway and into the field, documents said. A K-9 unit was called out and eventually found Vasquez.