Restitution total is still issue in city embezzlement case


ALAMOSA — Restitution amounts are still being negotiated in an embezzlement case involving former Alamosa City Finance Director Amanda McDonald, 41.

Until the restitution issue is resolved, McDonald will not be pleading to charges her attorney and the district attorney’s office have agreed to. McDonald appeared in court on Tuesday with Public Defender James Valenti who told District Judge Michael Gonzales that the attorneys had been diligently trying to work out a final restitution amount.

Valenti added that McDonald has agreed to accept an offer to a deferred judgment but in order to do that she needs a final restitution figure. If not agreed upon before the plea hearing, Valenti explained, it could require a multi-day hearing to arrive at a restitution figure.

Valenti told the judge that the defense has submitted a figure to the prosecution, which is considering it. He said the two sides should have the restitution resolved by January. Judge Gonzales scheduled a January 16th status for the case and said if it was not resolved by then he would set a trial. The judge said he would continue the matter one more time.

Earlier Valenti said McDonald would accept a plea agreement to a deferred judgment on a felony unauthorized use of transaction device charge and a straight plea to a misdemeanor theft charge with remaining charges dismissed.

McDonald was charged with felony theft, felony embezzlement of public property, misdemeanor first degree official misconduct and felony unauthorized use of transaction device charge in connection with alleged embezzlement during her tenure as Alamosa’s finance director. She worked in the city finance department from 2007 until she was fired in 2016. She is accused of misappropriating $65,000 in public funds and providing health insurance through the city to an unauthorized family member, which resulted in the city being charged approximately $400,000 in unauthorized premiums and insurance benefits being paid out. 

McDonald remains free on bond.