Foothills woman arraigned on embezzlement charges
A former Bard Water District officer manager has been arraigned in Imperial County Jail Court on felony charges of embezzlement and grand theft.
The complaint alleged that Darla Jean Cofske, a Foothills resident, embezzled more than $70,000 from the water district between December 2005 and December 2010 while employed by the organization.
Imperial County District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero filed the complaint in Imperial County Superior Court in El Centro on Dec. 18.
Cofske pleaded not guilty at the Jan. 18 arraignment.
A separate civil case filed by the water district is on hold until the criminal case is resolved.
However, "Ms. Cofske did not oppose a civil lawsuit filed against her to recover the embezzled funds," noted attorney Mitchell A. Driskill of the El Centro law firm Walker and Driskill.
The Bard Water District employed Cofske from the mid-1990s to January 2011, when she was relieved of her position shortly after the investigation began.
The allegations reportedly involve checks written with only Cofske’s signature, when policy requires two signatures, and using district checks to pay for personal items. She also allegedly opened a false credit card under the name Bard Water District Field, which she reportedly used to buy personal items.
Further proceedings are set for Feb. 15 at the Imperial County Jail Court.
A message seeking comment left by the Yuma Sun at a telephone number listed to a Darla Cofske was not returned by press time.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.