By Deb Murphy
Today, on what would have been the first day for witness testimony in the Dawndee Rossy embezzlement trial, Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy offered Rossy a plea deal of eight years in state prison.
Appointed Judge Phillip Argento said Hardy made the offer reluctantly.
After consulting with his client, attorney David Evans asked for a continuance until 9 a.m. Thursday so Rossy could discuss the plea with her father. If she rejects the deal, witness testimony will begin at 10 a.m.
Argento explained that if the deal was not taken, his hands were tied. “If Mr. Hardy proves everything that has been alleged, you’re looking at a long time in prison.”
Argento went on to remind Rossy that she had complained of unfairness; that others were involved but she’s the only one facing trial. “If you have information that implicates others, tell Mr. Hardy,”’ he urged, pointing out that if convictions are made and others required to make restitution that would reduce her restitution.
In an e-mail, Hardy said “The joint Bishop Police and DA investigation in 2013 looked at the entire department and all of the staff and did not discover any other criminal behavior.”
After granting the continuance, Argento said “some consideration” would be give because Rossy “took responsibility for some conduct.”
Rossy and her husband Kenneth were arrested in April 2013 on 44 felony counts, the primary charge was embezzling $1.5 million from Inyo County Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Assistance Program where Rossy was employed at the time.