A state employee has been arrested on suspicion of using a former client’s food stamps to buy more than $3,000 in food.
The 44-year-old Graham woman works in a Department of Social and Health Services office in Pierce County, the department reported. She was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of four counts of unlawful redemption of food stamps, which is a felony.
The woman, who has been on alternative assignment during the investigation, has worked for DSHS since 1998. She’s been a financial services specialist since 2003.
A former client contacted the Pierce North Community Service Office in late April after he received a notice to recertify his benefits. The request was puzzling because he thought the account was closed, officials said.
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He told workers he had turned in his transfer card and asked that his account be closed in September 2010, the department said.
After investigators found $3,225 in food benefits had been issued to the account from September 2010 through February, DSHS asked the Washington State Patrol to investigate.
Stacey Mulick, stacey.mulick @thenewstribune.com