Washougal woman pleads guilty to theft of $9,000 from East County Little League

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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A former president of East County Little League pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree theft for embezzling more than $9,000 from the league by writing checks to herself between 2009 and 2010.

Kimberly A. Dimes-Garner, 41, of Washougal will be sentenced Sept. 6. Prosecutors plan to recommend a 30-day sentence for Dimes-Garner to serve on a jail work crew.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Scott Collier said he would decide whether to impose that punishment in September, once he saw the amount of money Dimes-Garner had paid in restitution.

Collier said he wanted to make sure Dimes-Garner would be held accountable.

"When you do this, the kids

are victims. The parents are victims," Collier said. "There are a whole field of victims."

According to court documents, Dimes-Garner, the league's president between 2008 and 2010, allegedly wrote 60 checks to herself from the league's checkbook, which were then deposited into her personal bank accounts.

The alleged embezzlement occurred between September 2009 and October 2010.

The league was alerted to the missing money in spring 2010 when a new board of directors came in; a board member notified the Clark County Sheriff's Office in November 2010.

Dimes-Garner's attorney, Mary Gaffney, said her client was a single mom with an 11-year-old who was simply trying to make ends meet. The thefts weren't a result of a drug addiction or alcoholism.

"She did this to live," Gaffney said.

Court documents show Dimes-Garner incurred insufficient funds charges to her bank accounts on a regular basis and that she spent as much as $1,500 a month in excess of her legitimate monthly income.

She told the judge that she now works as a construction journeyman, with a job that wraps up in August, so she can begin work crew in September. She said she hopes to pay $1,000 each month in restitution to the Little League.

"I hope to do that until it's completely paid back," Dimes-Garner said.