By Deb Murphy
Today, Dawndee Rossy turned down the settlement offer of eight years in state prison made Wednesday by Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy. Rossy is on trial for allegedly embezzling $1.5 million from the county Department of Health and Human Services Public Assistance Program.
The trial has been continued until February 22, allowing appointed Judge Phillip Argento time to research a legal issue that was brought up Thursday morning.
Hardy and defense attorney David Evans agreed to a stipulation, but Rossy did not agree. The legal issue is whether a stipulation could be accepted by the court if both attorneys agreed but the defendant did not. He told the court he had run into a similar issue once in the last 30 years and needed time to do the legal research.
Hardy read portions of the stipulation into the court record, identifying 13 individuals, living either out of the area or out of state. The stipulation is that those alleged victims did not receive assistance from nor did they live in Inyo County during the time frame the crimes are alleged to have been committed.
If Argento rules that the defendant has to agree, Hardy will have to make arrangements to call those witnesses. “While arranging to bring in the witnesses,” he said, “we may need more time” beyond February 22. Hardy also withdrew the settlement offer.