A former employee in the state Department of Transportation's Lake-wood office has been charged with four counts of first-degree theft for allegedly stealing nearly $67,000 in unearned pay and improper purchases.
Rachel Taylor, 30, of Tenino appeared Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court on the felony charges in connection with thefts that allegedly took place between 2006 and 2009.
Taylor was hired by the state in 2004 as a senior secretary. One of her jobs was to enter the Lake-wood office’s time sheets into the agency’s timekeeping system.
According to court documents, she changed entries on her timecard. The alleged theft of pay totaled about $2,588 in 2006, $20,307 in 2007, $31,440 in 2008, and $12,584 during the first six months of 2009.
The Transportation Department said it caught the unearned overtime in 2009 during a routine review of overtime reports.
When confronted, Taylor told officials in June 2009 that she had entered the overtime hours into the computer, according to court documents. She told agency investigators she needed money because “her bills were out of control” and she didn’t want to lose her house.
She denied using a state credit card to make purchases for herself.
Officials said Taylor resigned last year. The state is seeking restitution.