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Former Anderson city clerk accused of embezzlement

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Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:45 am | Updated: 10:04 am, Tue Mar 5, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — A former Anderson city clerk is accused of using a city credit card to charge more than $8,000 for personal expenses ranging from TV bills to denture adhesives to Western Union transfers.

A charge of second-degree felony theft was filed last week against Darla J. Coghill. Coghill, 67, worked for the small Parks Highway municipality between March 2008 and January 2012,  according to the criminal complaint against her.

Coghill’s successor as city clerk reported the suspected embezzlement to Alaska State Troopers in August. City records showed that Coghill was overpaid $2,050.40 in time off and used her city credit card to pay for some $8,772.32 in non-city expenses, according to the complaint.

Troopers confronted Coghill on Aug. 28 about the suspected theft. She admitted making the purchases, but said she intended to pay the city back.

In some cases, she said purchases were for city expenses.

For example, asked about groceries purchased at Sam’s Club  “she advised she would mark the items on the receipt that were hers and pay it back later,” trooper Jeremy Stone wrote in the complaint.  “When confronted with all the grocery bills that did not have any city items on them, she admitted purchasing the items with the city card because she did not have the money.”

Two $500 Western Union money transfers were for her son, she said. An airline ticket purchase also was for her son. A purchase from a florist was for a mother-in-law’s funeral.

Coghill told troopers she made bad choices and was able to repay the city the $10,822. It wasn’t clear from the complaint if the money was paid back, and a phone call to the city of Anderson late Monday afternoon was not returned.

Coghill was issued court summons Friday. Her first court date has not been set, according to the Alaska Court System website.

Anderson is off a spur road of the Parks Highway north of Healy and has a population of about 250. Clear Air Force Station is located within the municipality.

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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