Snakenberg pleads guilty to theft

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


An Ainsworth woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in connection with money reported stolen from the Stewart Elementary School Boosters.

According to Washington County Attorney John Gish, Ashlee Marie Snakenberg, 32, of Ainsworth, pleaded guilty Wednesday. Gish has filed a letter of restitution for $25,356.20. So far, $10,000 has already been paid.

Snakenberg was arrested in October.

A press release issued in October shortly before Snakenberg?s arrest was announced said, ?The Stewart Booster group reported some missing funds in their account. Stewart Boosters is an independent nonprofit organization, which operates outside of the district?s legal authority. Although not a school-managed entity, a Stewart executive board member contacted district officials with concerns of unauthorized expenditures. Superintendent Jeff Dicks and business manager Jeff Dieleman reviewed the records and confirmed what appeared to be unauthorized transactions. The matter has been turned over to the Washington Police Department for further investigation.?

Several years ago the parent organizations in the district separated from the district, superintendent Jeff Dicks said. If they were a part of the district still, the group?s books would be subject to an audit every year as the district is.

?We do not have that oversight,? he added.

According to a press release, the Washington Police Department received a call from the Washington School District in early October in reference to the theft of money from the Stewart Boosters. First-degree theft is a Class C felony that can bring up to a 10-year sentence and a $10,000 fine.