BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Janice Lovato of White Rock has been arrested and charged with embezzling some $4,800 from Los Alamos County Little League.
A statement of probable cause filed Tuesday in Los Alamos Magistrate Court by Los Alamos Police Det. Ryan Wolking states that the alleged theft was reported Saturday to Cpl. Brent by Little League president Magdalen Miller and treasurer Heather Garcia who told Hudspeth they believed Lovato had embezzled the funds.
Lovato was the concessions coordinator for the Little League throughout the season and was responsible for collecting money and depositing it after selling concessions but had not made any deposits all season.
The Little League board reportedly met with Lovato last week and gave her until Friday afternoon to deposit the funds. Some board members at that time were reluctant to take the matter to law enforcement. Lovato allegedly gave the board $4,866 in cashier’s checks from her parents, however in an email to board member Dave Swavely in July, she had allegedly indicated that the amount to be deposited was $5,945.94.
During an interview Tuesday with Wolking, Lovato repeatedly stated she had placed $4,800 in her personal account “so it would not be compromised”. She also allegedly stated she did not initially make the deposits to the league because she did not want to be held personally responsible for an approximately $900 discrepancy located during a tournament. She insisted she only ever received the $4,866 she deposited into her own personal account. She said she gave her parents the cash for the cashier’s checks.
Wolking’s report states that when asked why she had not deposited the funds top the league account, Lovato said “something came up, like having a job, life to deal with teaching class, etc.”