Local News

Former Whitcom treasurer charged with embezzling thousands from guild accounts

PULLMAN, Wash. - The former treasurer of the Palouse's regional emergency dispatchers union has been charged with three felonies for allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars from the union. 

Emily Kirk, 30, has been charged with first degree theft, money laundering and forgery in Whitman County Superior Court.

The Washington State Attorney General's office said Kirk forged checks to herself from the Whitcom 911 Employee Guild between June of 2011 and August of last year. Nearly $14,000 was reportedly embezzled from the guild's funds.

Last summer the president of the guild, William Brincken, became aware there were local balances and unexplained transactions in the guild's accounts according to court documents. As Brincken reviewed the financial situation further he found checks made out to and signed by Kirk.

On ten different occasions, checks were drafted to Kirk, with Brincken's signature forged on them, between November 2011 and April 2012. The checks were deposited into Kirk's personal checking account on each occasion.

Between Dec. 2011 and July 2012, 23 more checks were written or cash withdrawals made, the proceeds of which went into Kirk's personal bank account and immediately used, according to the Washington State Patrol Criminal Investigative Unit, which investigated the case.

In all, $13,910.13 in checks and cash transactions was taken from the guild's accounts.

The Attorney General was referred the case by the Whitman County Prosecutor's Office to avoid any conflict of interest. Whitcom dispatches for emergency agencies in Whitman and Asotin counties and the city of Moscow.