Volunteer to pay restitution
November 26, 2020
A deferred prosecution agreement has been reached between Sanders County and LaJean C. Manning, according to County Attorney Naomi Leisz. The Ledger reported last February that Manning was charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor for allegedly mishandling Trout Creek Community Improvement Association (TCCIA) and Trout Creek Park Board funds between May 2018 and January 2020.
Leisz communicated that the recent agreement reached requires Manning to pay the county $15,000 within the next 12 months, and if not, Leisz reserves the right to refile charges. The county will then distribute funds to the nonprofit TCCIA and partially public-funded Trout Creek Park Board to help overcome financial deficits.
The Ledger reported in February, “All totaled, the information alleges Manning diverted $25,062.87 in TCCIA funds by checks and cash. Reviewing Park District funds, it was determined that Manning allegedly wrote checks to herself amounting to $2,301.91 and transferred $8,000 to the TCCIA account.”
With the cancellation of the Huckleberry Festival this year due to COVID-19, the park and improvement boards commented they are feeling a financial pinch regardless of the alleged compromised funds. They have recently applied for grant assistance to build a Bob Green Memorial playground at Trout Creek Park honoring his legacy. Prior to passing away this last October, Green generously offered 13 years taking care of the park.
Both the TCCIA and Trout Creek Park Board are ready to put the past in the past and look to a brighter tomorrow. They are looking for volunteer members to help with social gatherings and improvements for the Trout Creek community. Visit http://www.troutcreekcia.com for more information.