Former Garfield County Clerk’s employee sentenced in theft case

John Colson
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Brenda Caywood, a former employee of the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, was sentenced last week to two years’ probation for stealing nearly $16,000 in cash from her employers over a period of more than two years.

She also was ordered to repay $15,919 in stolen cash, as well as more than $3,500 in interest, to the clerk and recorder’s office.

Caywood, 52, was arrested in September 2012 following an internal investigation that revealed the alleged thefts.

Caywood, of Glenwood Springs, had worked at the clerk’s office since 2007.

A bookkeeper in the office reportedly discovered money missing from the office accounts on Nov. 17, 2011, and reported it to Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico, who placed Caywood on administrative leave the next day.

Alberico was preparing to fire Caywood when Caywood resigned on Nov. 28.

Prosecutors maintained that Caywood stole money from the office on 58 separate occasions, staring in May 2010 and continuing until early November 2011, most often in situations where auto dealerships overpaid their use taxes on vehicles purchased by residents who live outside the towns in Garfield County. Those living outside the towns are not supposed to pay the tax, and the clerk’s office usually sends the money back to the dealership.

According to prosecutors, though, Caywood admitted she would fraudulently mingle outgoing tax repayment checks with cash vehicle registration payments from multiple customers, and then steal the cash equivalent of the overcollected amounts.

Caywood was charged with four different counts, a mix of felonies and misdemeanors, based on allegations that she stole the cash at different times.

In June, she pleaded guilty to one county of felony theft in return for the dismissal of the original four counts, and she was sentenced on Aug. 1 by District Judge Denise Lynch.

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