Former Forest Worker Pleads Guilty To Theft


A six-month investigation into missing money from Roosevelt Lake fee deposit boxes ended this week when a former U.S. Forest Service worker and her husband, a former Gila County Sheriff's Deputy, pleaded guilty to theft charges.

Former Forest Service worker Linda Holmes of Tonto Basin pleaded guilty to felony theft of public money and her husband, John, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft.

In the plea agreement, Linda Holmes pleaded guilty to stealing $17,450 from Tonto National Forest campground deposit boxes while she was employed by the Forest Service.

The following is a brief account of the crimes committed, as stipulated in that plea agreement:

"Linda Holmes took the envelopes home, removed the cash, shredded any checks, and used it for various family expenses, to include such items as payments on vehicles being purchased.

"Her husband Johnny Holmes was aware of the source of these funds, but did not participate in the actual taking of the money from the offices of the Forest Service."

John Holmes, a former Gila County Sheriff's deputy, was placed on administrative leave from the department while officials conducted an internal investigation into his part of the allegations. He later resigned during the investigation into his conduct.

Cathy Colbert, public affairs officer from the U.S. District Court, said the pair will be sentenced May 22.

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