Washington DOC Fires McNeil Island Employee for Prisoner Fund Theft
On February 22, 2008, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) fired Colleen Brixley, 48, a fiscal analyst at the McNeil Island Corrections Center, for stealing $103,000 from the McNeil Offender Welfare Betterment Fund. The fund is used primarily to pay staff salaries for positions such as chaplains, grievance coordinators, etc. Token amounts are also used to finance programs for prisoners that provide stronger family relations, improvements to visitation areas, games for prisoners’ children, and religious supplies. The money in the fund is mostly generated from kickbacks on prisoners’ telephone calls that make maintaining family ties for prisoners extremely difficult and expensive.
The DOC turned over the results of its investigation to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The internal investigation revealed that Brixley wrote fund checks to her husband and deposited them in their personal account; forged signatures; misrepresented financial documents; and changed processes to conceal her actions.
On August 29, 2008, Brixey was charged in Pierce County Superior Court with three counts each of theft and forgery. Her bail was set at $5,000, and a trial is scheduled for October 23. It is unknown whether any of the stolen funds can be recovered. As to where the money went, Sheriff’s investigators found evidence of ATM withdrawals from Brixey’s bank account at the Red Wind Casino.
Sources: Tacoma News Tribune, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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