(Note: This report was filed with information not in the previous press release)
By Deb Murphy
Dawndee Rossy was sentenced to nine years, minus 1,369 days served, on embezzlement and other felonies, totaling 88 charges, while employed as a supervisor in Inyo County’s Department of Health and Human Services.
The decision was handed down Tuesday by appointed Judge Philip Argento, marking the end of a four-year long case.
Argento included the time Rossy was under electronic monitoring in the credited days subtracted from the sentence, reducing the time she could serve in state prison to five and one fourth years. The sentence also requires restitution of $1.8 million, adding unpaid state taxes in excess of $272,000 to the $1.5 million embezzlement charges.
In late February, District Attorney Thomas Hardy asked for a sentence of 22 years and eight months. Defense attorney David Evans asked for proportionality, citing high-profile white-collar crimes with defendants spending significantly less than the recommended 22 years in jail.
The cases Argento took into consideration included a 12-year sentence for Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo and probation for Inyo County Sheriff Don Dorsey, convicted of seven felonies including embezzlement of county funds in the 1980s.
“You have to look at the case as a whole,” Argento said. “The total deserves less than the sum of its part.” He also noted that the sentence would have been lower if tried in federal court. Under California law, he was required to apply enhancements to the charges.