Former Sheriff's Office employee denies embezzling money


KALISPELL, Mont. - Kalispell resident Nicole Fister pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $90,000 from the non-profit Sheriff's Office Employee Association. Fister worked in the Sheriff's Office for 9 years, and was the treasurer of the association that raises money for charity.

Her position meant she had the authority to write checks on one of the authority's accounts. Court documents say Fister admitted to illegally cashing 30 or more checks. In an interview, Fister told authorities she used some of it for personal expenses and gave money to her son and daughter.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says Fister was fired as soon as the theft was discovered.

"Allegedly the embezzlement has occurred over the last couple of years," explained Curry. "I think it's important to note we're very much about no preferential treatment here. It really doesn't matter where a person works. The criminal charges are the criminal charges and we strive to treat everyone equally here."

A jury trial is set for September. If convicted, Fister could face up to 10 years in prison.

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