The former finance director of Cortez, who allegedly embezzled over $63,000 from the city, has been scheduled for an arraignment with the district court on Aug. 27.
During the arraignment, former finance director Katheryn Moss will plead guilty or not guilty, or she will ask for more time to come to a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.
“Hopefully we will have a plea agreement,” said Richard Jaye, Moss’s attorney, with Durango Criminal & Family Law.
Chief Judge Douglas Walker of the 22nd Judicial District will preside over the arraignment. The court may read the charges to Moss in September, but her attorney can also waive that right should he reach a plea agreement, said District Attorney William Furse.
“Many cases in the district court are resolved through a plea agreement,” Furse said. However, if Moss asks for more time, the court “generally has the patience” to grant it, he said.
According to Cortez city documents, Moss contacted a defense attorney in Durango and allegedly admitted to embezzling $10,000 from the city over a number of years.
The city converted to a new financial software system in 2016, and during the conversion process the records on the old system were destroyed. Because of the faulty switch, investigators could only reproduce records from the current financial system.
From these records, investigators concluded that Moss allegedly embezzled $63,642 between 2016 and 2018. The former finance director was then charged with theft and embezzlement of public property, according to court records.
Over $68,000 was found to be unaccounted for, but the Colorado Bureau of Investigation traced $63,642 back to the alleged theft.
If a plea agreement is reached, Moss will likely be sentenced in October, Jaye said.