Woman pleads guilty to using dispatch funds for own use
June 10, 2020
ROCK SPRINGS (Wyoming News Exchange) — Laura Etienne pleaded guilty Thursday morning to using funds from the Sweetwater County Combined Communications Dispatch Center to buy nearly $3,000 worth of personal items between 2016 and 2018.
She and her husband Robin Etienne, former director of the Combined Communications Dispatch Center, were both arrested in January 2020 and charged with felony and misdemeanor counts related to misusing an Amazon Prime account set up for the center and making nearly $7,000 in combined unauthorized purchases. The couple currently lives in Utah. Laura Etienne originally pleaded not guilty to the felony theft charge at her arraignment in Sweetwater County District Court early in March. Her change of plea Thursday morning in District Court was part of an agreement with the state of Wyoming.
Judge Richard Lavery accepted Laura Etienne‘s guilty plea at Thursday’s video hearing. She will be sentenced following completion of a pre-sentence investigation. The plea agreement recommendation is a two- to four-year suspended sentence at the Wyoming Women’s Center, three years of supervised probation, and restitution in the amount of $2,955.16 plus court fees. Once restitution is fully paid, probation would be modified to unsupervised. The restitution amount is Laura Etienne‘s portion of the unauthorized charges.
Acknowledging that she had no authority to use the credit card, Laura Etienne told the court she had no reasonable explanation for having done so. She said the credit card was saved on the family’s Amazon account, and she would select it at times when making personal purchases.