Authorities looking into alleged theft from Sea Scouts

The Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing Hoquiam Police reports to determine if charges will be filed against a former Hoquiam City Council member who has served as the Coastal Waters District Director of the Boy Scouts for allegations that he has stolen funds from a Sea-Scout bank account.

Hoquiam Sgt. Shane Krohn said the man was arrested Friday on suspicion of second-degree theft and booked in to the County Jail. He was released on Saturday.

The man, who now lives in Aberdeen, is not being named here because except in extraordinary circumstances, The Daily World’s policy is not to name people accused of crimes until they have been charged.

When contacted by telephone this morning, the man in question said he was not at liberty to make a statement about claims against him at this time.

In 2009, the man was charged with first-degree theft. The case went to trial and he was found not guilty.

An email was sent to news media on Monday by Bruce Carley, one of the leaders of the Sea-Scouts, a new Boy Scouts chapter that focuses on nautical activities. Carley noted that for the past year young men and women have been working to raise funds to get a 72-foot, 1945 wooden torpedo retriever donated by S&S Logging back into sea-worthy shape. The scouts also had hoped to buy new uniforms.

“The loss of funds, the embarrassment to the scouts and the feeling of betrayal are new to these kids and hurtful to us all,” Carley said in his letter.

In addition to the fund-raising activities, donations have been solicited from the community, Carley said over the telephone Monday. According to Carley, the bank account activity differed from what the district director had reported. “We have no idea how many funds were solicited and never made it to the account,” Carley said. The group has also requested records from the bank which showed more activity and withdrawals than the district director reported to the group.

“We would like the people who donated to know that we appreciate it, but we have no idea who did donate or how much,” he said. Carley reported the scouts were initially in shock, yet seem to be handling the situation well. “I feel upset,” Carley said. “… As hard as we worked and as much as we have invested in the past year in the kids and in this organization, to find this out is really just heartbreaking and frustrating,” Carley said.

The Hoquiam Police Department is asking anyone who has concerns about cash or personal check donations to the group to contact Detective. Sgt. Shane Krohn at (360) 532-0892, Ext. 102.