Ex-youth sports treasurer in Eatonville agrees to pay back missing funds

Staff writerJune 17, 2014 

A former treasurer of the Eatonville Youth Sports Association accused of misusing at least $1,000 of the organization’s money won’t go to trial for theft charges, providing she pays restitution and fulfills other court orders.

But she is on the hook for fines and court-ordered classes after allegedly wielding a gun in a confrontation with a witness in the investigation.

In April 2013, Nicole Vanbuskirk was charged with 12 counts of third-degree theft related to missing funds from the 2011-2012 EYSA sports season, according to charging papers.

She’s agreed to pay back $1,500 to EYSA and complete 75 hours of community service, according to court documents.

The missing EYSA funds were discovered when another treasurer took over for Vanbuskirk in August 2012. In a written statement to police, the new treasurer said an internal audit revealed money collected over three sports seasons in 2011 did not match the amounts deposited.

Vanbuskirk served as the board’s volunteer treasurer from 2009 until she resigned in June 2012, and was the only person responsible for deposits and the group’s cash box during that time, according to the police report.

Bank records show $1,060 unaccounted for between March and September 2011, the police report states. Sources have told The News Tribune that they suspect more money could be missing.

In a June 4 court-ordered apology letter to the EYSA board members, Vanbuskirk took “full responsibility for the lack of cash handling protocol” during her time with the organization.

“I also admit the cash was misappropriated and unaccounted for,” she wrote in the one-paragraph document.

Vanbuskirk also purchased office supplies that can’t be tracked down, the police report states. A former board member Renae Hannahs also told police that Vanbuskirk’s family would receive new equipment each time she purchased new EYSA items.

In a separate but apparently related incident, Vanbuskirk was charged with harassment and displaying a weapon after she confronted Hannahs last October.

Earlier this month Vanbuskirk pleaded guilty to reduced charges of disorderly conduct and displaying a weapon, agreeing to pay more than $1,000 in fines and complete anger management and gun safety courses.

Police say Hannahs — who was originally believed to be an accomplice in the alleged theft — cooperated during the investigation, saying she believed Vanbuskirk misused the funds.

An officer responded to a call Oct. 5 after Vanbuskirk was “making a threatening display on her front porch” across the street from Hannahs’ home, according to the police report.

Vanbuskirk reportedly wielded a gun before handing it to her husband and confronting Hannahs. She said “take this gun before I hurt someone” loud enough for Hannahs and her guests to hear, the police report states.

The report also states Vanbuskirk “had been upset and threatening (Hannahs) and her family” since their involvement with the theft investigation.

 

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682 kari.plog@thenewstribune.com @KariPlog

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