Nonprofit’s ex-leader gets jail

Former CEO also will have to pay restitution to Olympia Tumwater Foundation for theft

jpawloski@theolympian.comApril 5, 2013 

A judge sentenced the former executive director of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation to two years in prison and ordered her to pay more than $101,000 in restitution Thursday for stealing from the local nonprofit over about a three-year period.

Jacalyn Tobosa, 58, had pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree theft for stealing from the foundation.

The foundation was created in 1950 by the Schmidt family, owners of the Olympia Brewery. It is a public charity that uses its facilities and lands to promote education. The foundation provides scholarships to local students, and manages Tumwater Falls Park and the Schmidt House.

Its mission statement is, “To offer educational opportunities, a historic home and a community park to honor our history and celebrate our future.”

Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Powers said Thursday that Tobosa was appointed executive director of the foundation in fall 2007. She pleaded guilty to stealing from the nonprofit from about 2008-11.

According to court papers:

Executive Director John Freedman, who was hired as an administrator for the foundation in 2008, discovered that many of the checks issued by Tobosa to her son’s landscaping company, Olympia Landscaping, were not supported by invoices in the foundation’s financial records. Tobosa hired Olympia Landscaping to assist in maintaining Tumwater Falls Park.

Tobosa’s embezzlement was discovered in a subsequent audit. She was fired in June 2011, and the Tumwater Police Department began its criminal investigation.

In a written statement to The Olympian last year, Freedman said the financial impact of Tobosa’s thefts did not affect its level of charitable work. “Donations, including those to Tumwater Falls Park, the Schmidt House, and the education program, were not affected,” he wrote.

Tobosa’s daughter, Kimberly Spada, also is charged with a single count of first-degree theft for taking more than $5,000 from the foundation between June 2010 and May 2011. Tobosa had hired Spada to do bookkeeping for the foundation in February 2011 despite the fact that in 2002, Spada was convicted in Thurston County of eight counts of theft “based on embezzling funds while she was working at Hansen Motors in Olympia,” court papers state.

There is a warrant for Spada’s arrest, after she failed to show for her arraignment Sept. 11 to face the theft charge for allegedly embezzling from the foundation. Powers said Thursday the prosecutor’s office does not know her whereabouts.

Tobosa’s attorney, Paul Strophy, said his client is extremely remorseful. “She’s accepted all responsibility for her thefts,” he said. Strophy added he is unsure of Tobosa’s ability to pay the court-ordered restitution.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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