Longtime city employee accused of embezzling thousands - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Longtime city employee accused of embezzling thousands

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WACO - UPDATE: On December 30, Nelson Scott Washington was sentenced to four years deferred adjudication probation and he must make restitution to the city for money that was taken.

A longtime Waco city employee is accused of embezzling money paid to the Parks and Recreation Department.

Nelson Scott Washington, 59, turned himself in to Waco Police Monday. He was booked in to the McLennan County Jail and charged with two counts of property theft, a state jail felony.

Arrest affidavits obtained by News Channel 25 name Nelson Washington as the person, "primarily responsible for making deposits for the Parks and Recreations Department."

Waco City spokesman, Larry Holze, declined to comment on personnel matters. However, Holze confirmed to News Channel 25 that Washington had worked for the city for at least 15 years.

According to the arrest affidavits, a City of Waco internal auditor called police after she noticed discrepancies in paperwork. Checks paid to the Parks and Recreation Dept. weren't deposited in the correct amount.

The auditor reported the first theft to police in October of 2012. The affidavit said Washington "swapped $2091.20 in checks made out to the City of Waco for $2091.20 cash." The auditor reported a similar incident in December involving a $2,800 check.  Police said all of that money is still missing.

"It's hard to understand why someone would do this," said Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton. "You're going to get caught. There's too many internal audits, too many checks and balances and county checks that are going to be done any time you're hiding money."

Washington was interviewed by Waco Police detectives, and according to arrest affidavits, he admitted to taking the cash.  A spokesman from the McLennan County Jail said Washington bonded out shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday.

The City of Waco would not comment on the status of Washington's employment.

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