Crowley woman accused of embezzling from water district will be back in court July 22

A Crowley Lake woman, Debra Ray, who was arrested earlier this spring on suspicion of embezzling money from the Crowley Lake Community Water District (she was a board member of the district) was in the Mono County Superior Court on Wednesday, July 3, for a preliminary hearing, according to Mono County District Attorney Tim Kendall.

The taking of evidence and argument was presented over a three day period, Kendall said in an email.

Ray was originally charged in a 22 count complaint alleging one count of embezzlement of over $29,000 from the Crowley Lake Water District, a private water company, and another 21 counts of embezzlement of public monies involving that same $29,000 from late 2008 to 2011, he said.

At preliminary hearing the district attorney's office dismissed two counts of embezzlement of public monies based on the evidence and went forward on the remaining 20 counts, he said.

Mono County Superior Court Judge Stan Eller found that just under $29,000 was embezzled and bound Ray over for trial on the one embezzlement count from the Crowley Lake Water District, Kendall said.

"The remaining 19 counts were dismissed by the court finding that those counts involved federal monies obtained by the water district through federal grants," Kendall said.

"Therefore, the federal authorities, not the state, would have jurisdiction to prosecute those counts" he said. "The Mono County District Attorney has decided to move forward on the one embezzlement count from the water district and will refer the other counts to the U.S. Attorney for their consideration."

Ray is due back in court for arraignment and trial setting on July 22, Kendall said. She remains out of custody on 10,000 bond.