Employee at Griffin Fire Department arrested for embezzlement

An administrative assistant who has worked with Griffin Fire Department for 15 years was arrested Monday on suspicion of embezzling over $10,000 from her employer, authorities said today.

Patricia D. Chorba, 57, of Shelton was found to have written two checks to herself -- one from September 8 for $5699.24 and one from September 14 for $4757.44 -- totalling $10,456.68, Fire Chief Ken Goldsby said.

Goldsby reportedly became suspicious and came across these checks after a routine internal audit for the fire station located at 3707 Steamboat Loop, N.W.

In her capacity as an administrative assistant, Chorba did have the authority to write checks. The two checks in question, however, reportedly included forged signatures for Goldsby, Chief Criminal Deputy Dan Kimball of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office said.

Chorba was booked at the Thurston County Jail Monday on two counts of forgery and two counts of first-degree theft.

A state auditor has been asked to conduct a full audit for the station and will work with the sheriff's office to look into whether or not more checks were forged, Kimball said.