Treasurer accused of stealing thousands from local Little League

STANWOOD, Wash. -- A former Little League treasurer could face criminal charges after thousands of dollars were discovered missing from the organization's bank account.

"Every kid should be able to play Little League, and when the thought of that not being possible even crossed anyone's mind it was a shock," said Stanwood-Camano Little League President Rick Randall.

Board members became suspicious when the treasurer didn't present financial records at the annual meeting in September. KOMO is not naming the person because he's not been arrested or charged with a crime.

"It was just a lot of questions as to why and questions as to how much money was in the bank account," said Randall. "We're working on a small budget and every penny really counts."

Randall said the treasurer used the league's debit card to pay personal bills and to make purchases at convenience stores.

"It's hard to swallow because everybody who's on any kind of non-profit board like this - everyone is so giving of their time. Nobody is getting anything out of this we're all doing it for the kids," said Randall. "It's really a punch to the gut when you find out when somebody has done this."

Randall said the stolen money should have been used to pay for equipment, uniforms and park user fees but the league couldn't afford any of it last season.

"It didn't seem like anything was wrong," said Randall. "We just thought that enrollment was down and that's why we figured we could not - we didn't have any extra money."

The league is now implementing new security measures and board members are confident kids will be back on the field next season. They even decreased the enrollment fees to build the community's trust.

"We want to rebuild that trust in the community, because being a non-profit organization, we're only as strong as our volunteer base. And we need to prove to our volunteer base that we're ready to move forward from this, ready to move on from this and make the Stanwood-Camano Little League better and stronger than it's ever been before," Randall said.

Stanwood Police Chief Rick Hawkins said the suspect is cooperating with the investigation and returned some of the money. However, Randall said the former treasurer paid in cash and it's still unclear where it came from.

Detectives are expected to forward the case next week to the prosecutor's office. The suspect could face a first-degree theft charge.