News

County road shop thief sentenced

A former employee at the county road shop who stole thousands of dollars from the Island County Public Works Union may end up serving a sentence at his home in Utah.

Craig Gilbert, a 36-year-old former Oak Harbor resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court May 5 to theft in the first degree. Under a plea bargain, prosecutors dismissed a second charge of first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree theft.

Judge Vickie Churchill agreed with the sentence recommendation presented by both sides. She ordered Gilbert to pay $4,212 in restitution to the union and $800 in fines and fees. She also sentenced him to 90 days of detention, which he can serve at his home in Utah, via a monitoring device, if he pays all the restitution by Sept. 8.

In the police report, Mike Hawley, a lieutenant with the Island County Sheriff’s Office, wrote that the president of the union notified law enforcement late last year that Gilbert had admitted taking money from the account, but kept making excuses for not giving it back.

Hawley wrote that Gilbert admitted to writing checks to himself from the union bank account. Also, he admitted cashing out the union’s $4,000 certificate of deposit and using it to prevent a foreclosure on his house.

Gilbert said that he took the money because he had been going through a divorce, Hawley wrote.

Gilbert was fired after he quit coming to work, said Hank Hilberdink, the Oak Harbor shop foreman for Island County Public Works.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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