The arraignment hearing for Dawndee and Kenneth Rossy scheduled for October 15th was continued to October 22nd. Earlier, the couple were held to answer on nearly 60 charges at a preliminary hearing.
Those charges include embezzlement of public funds, identity theft, conspiracy, filing false or no tax returns, and forgery. The original complaint filed by the District Attorney revealed an alleged pattern of filing for welfare benefits and getting cash with Electronic Benefit Cards. The alleged amount embezzled adds up to $1.5 million, according to the complaint.
District Attorney Tom Hardy said that both Inyo judges were disqualified from hearing the Rossy case and a visiting judge was not available this week, causing the continuance of the arraignment to October 22nd. DA Hardy also said that a charging document following the preliminary hearing has been filed and alleges a total of 213 felony counts on the two defendants.
DA Hardy said the new counts all arise from evidence received at the preliminary hearing and set forth additional specific charges alleged to have occurred during the time period from 2005 through January, 2013. Hardy said, “Primarily, the new charges allege the filing of false documents in public files as part of the alleged scheme.” Hardy also said that independently, Dawndee Rossy was cited for driving under the influence with the arraignment in that case to also proceed on October 22nd.
The Rossys had initially made bail but are being monitored via GPS ankle bracelets. At the Inyo Supervisors’ meeting this week, DA Hardy offered a brief update on the Rossy case. He was asked about the possibility of a settlement in the case. He said, “Settlement talks are always available. We have had no successful talks so far.” Hardy said settlement discussions are a routine part of a case. He also said his office is taking this case very seriously.
The District Attorney added later this week that there are no active settlement discussions right now, which he said is typical for any case after a preliminary hearing and before arraignment. He said his office is proceeding on the basis that the case will go to trial. However, future settlement conferences will be scheduled.