According to an email sent Monday to all employees from Intercity Transit General Manager Ann Freeman-Manzanares, which would be obtainable from a public records request, a former Intercity Transit employee was arrested last week by the Olympia Police Department after they were accused of stealing $77,179.25 worth of cash from the transit agency.
At the court hearing on Friday, the former employee was released without bail awaiting an arraignment hearing later this month. The former employee is not to have contact with Intercity Transit staff or come to the Pattison Street admin/maintenance facility.
According to Freeman-Manzaneres, in March of this year, discrepancies were discovered in cash deposits that led the agency to conduct a forensic audit. The audit revealed that Vanpool cash payments had been received but not deposited over a period of four years. The audit also revealed that deposit receipts had been altered, duplicated or destroyed in an attempt to hide the missing cash. The employee was responsible for vanpool cash deposits as part of their job between 2013-2017.
The company says it is pursuing full restitution to recover the lost funds, which are insured. Vanpool customers and vanpool rates will not be affected by the loss. The employee was laid off as a result of company reorganization in March of 2017.
The $77,179.25 represents about 1% of the annual vanpool revenues during 2013-2017, which ranged from $1.5 to $1.8 million annually during that period. Nearly 50% of IT vanpool customers pay their fares online electronically. The remainder prefer using checks, vouchers or cash.
Editor’s note: The administrator of the Thurston County News & Weather Blog is a member of Intercity Transit’s 20-member Citizen Advisory Committee. Although the information in this article was obtained through that position, all of the information would also be available through Public Records Requests of agency documents pertaining to the Freedom of Information Act.