Former Fort Worden PDA CFO charged with fraud

Jefferson County alleges theft of more than $10,000

PORT TOWNSEND — The former chief financial officer for the Fort Worden Public Development Authority pleaded not guilty to theft charges Friday arising from her time serving with the organization.

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy charged Diane Moody with first-degree theft, excluding a firearm, in Superior Court on Sept. 30.

The charges allege that, on or between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019, Moody made two fraudulent claims of a value of more than $5,000.

Moody’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30, with a trial set for Jan. 9, according to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

The maximum penalty for the alleged crimes is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine, the court filing says.

“The fraud occurred prior to the election of the current board of directors and the hiring of David Timmons as executive director,” the public development authority said in a release.

The alleged fraud was discovered during an internal review, the release said.

Fort Worden PDA officials asked the state Auditor’s Office to conduct an investigation. The auditor’s office verified the findings during an independent review completed in December 2021.

“The FWPDA (Fort Worden Public Development Authority) does not and cannot comment on ongoing litigation. We respect the process,” Timmons said in the release.

According to the declaration of probable cause for arrest from the Port Townsend Police Department filed with the court, authorities were first notified of potential fraud related to credit card accounts in October 2020.

The state auditor’s investigation “determined a misappropriation of funds totaling $10,054” that occurred in late 2019.

Moody entered expenditures for two payments — one for $4,822 and one for $5,232 — made to a construction company owned by Moody’s husband, documents say, though the business had been administratively dissolved for six months at the time of the payment.

A report from the auditor’s office found the invoice supporting the payments did not provide specific details about the work done and did not include a typical signature documenting department approval.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at psegall@soundpublishing.com.

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