Wapato City Hall

Wapato City Hall.

Wapato’s former deputy clerk, Gloria Acosta, was charged Monday in Yakima County Superior Court with multiple counts of theft.

Acosta, 49, faces five counts of first-degree theft, one count of second-degree theft and two counts of misappropriated accounts.

She’s accused of taking $303,678 from the city over seven years while serving as deputy clerk, according to a probable cause affidavit by the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.

On Oct. 27, 2017, former City Clerk-Treasurer Sue Pearson reported missing funds to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office after finding accounting discrepancies that appeared related to Acosta, the affidavit said.

Acosta was placed on leave and an investigation was launched by the state Auditor’s Office. In December 2017, Acosta was asked to resign.

Pearson was placed on leave the following January. Then-Mayor Juan Orozco criticized her for failing to keep a close eye on city finances.

The investigation concluded in February and alleges Acosta is responsible for several accounting discrepancies dating from 2011, the affidavit said.

The investigation uncovered three funds — business and occupation taxes, cemetery and leases — where cash payments to the city had been converted into check payments for larger amounts, the affidavit said.

Those payments were traced back to Acosta, who is accused of pocketing the cash payments, the affidavit said.

While the city’s books appeared accurate, they didn’t match bank accounting, the affidavit said.

Reach Phil Ferolito at pferolito@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @philipferolito