Prosecutor could seek plea deal in Birch Bay embezzlement case

Published on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

Read More News

The theft case of former Birch Bay Water and Sewer District treasurer Glenn Golay may not go to trial if a plea deal emerges from ongoing negotiations between the prosecution and defense.

If the case goes to trial, the new date will be July 17. County prosecutor James Hulbert is talking with Sheila Bommakanti, Golay’s attorney, over a plea deal that could be reached within the month.

“There’s good reason to believe progress may be made on the plea deal by (July 17),” Hulbert said.

However, a plea deal is far from a sure thing. Hulbert said the deal he offers could be unacceptable to defense, which would most likely send the case to trial.

Hulbert explained the trial date could be moved again in favor of other cases in which the accused are being held in jail. Since Golay is not in custody, individuals waiting in jail for a trial will get first choice of trial dates.

Whatever the outcome of the negations over the next month, Hulbert said he has no intention of dismissing the charges against Golay. He explained only a complete disintegration of his evidence against Golay would cause him to dismiss the case; an outcome Hulbert thinks unlikely.

In March, Golay pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of first-degree theft stemming from his alleged embezzlement of $469,000 from the Birch Bay Water and Sewer district over the past seven years. District manager Roger Brown fired Golay on January 11, after Golay told Brown a state audit then underway would reveal the theft.

Golay, a certified public accountant, had been the district’s treasurer for 23 years. He later told police he had a problem with spending and could not manage his credit card debt.