Former Clear Creek County employee pleads guilty to stealing $215,000

A 71-year-old former employee of Clear Creek County has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $215,000 from the county’s resource center in Idaho Springs.

Candace Morehouse, of Georgetown, pleaded guilty to felony theft Monday, according to a Clear Creek County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Morehouse admitted to stealing $215,453 between 2010 and 2018, and using the money for personal gain, the release said. While a county employee, Morehouse volunteered to do accounting for the resource center and she began writing checks to herself and to family members.

The nonprofit resource center houses the county’s public health and education departments, and provides services for public health, mental health and a youth network. The center also houses tenants, including referrals from Jefferson Center for Mental Health and the American Job Center.

When resource center checks began bouncing, the county finance department notified the sheriff’s office and an investigation, which included the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Department of Revenue, was launched.

“Stealing from an organization that exists to benefit the community, is like pickpocketing from taxpayers and people in need, who otherwise would have received needed funds and benefits,” said Stephen Potts, deputy district attorney and lead prosecutor.

Morehouse, who worked for the county for more than 20 years, will be sentenced Jan. 11, 2021, and she faces up to six years in prison.

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