Clark County Library board member pleads guilty to embezzling over $226,000 - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Clark County Library board member pleads guilty to embezzling over $226,000

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DUBOIS – A woman pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds from the Clark County Library Board.

Amanda Baker, 46, was charged on Aug. 24 with felony grand theft after she reportedly admitted to stealing over $50,000. However, after further investigation, that number was over $226,000.

Baker initially pleaded not guilty to the charge. On March 27, Baker accepted a plea agreement in which she agreed to plead guilty to felony grand theft, and the prosecution agreed to recommend a minimum of 15 months and a maximum of 10 years in prison at sentencing.

RELATED | Investigation shows library official allegedly stole $210,000 in public funds

Both sides also agreed to recommend that Baker serve her time without the possibility of early release and be required to pay back $226,385 to the Clark County Library Board within the 10-year sentence.

Baker is expected to appear for sentencing in front of District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. on June 26 at the Clark County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m.

The agreement is binding, meaning if Watkins accepts it, he cannot change the sentence. If Watkins chooses not to accept it, Baker can change her plea.


Court documents show that on August 23, Clark County Sheriff Mark McClure told a deputy about a possible theft or fraud case.

McClure said the Clark County Library Board contracted a roofer to put a new roof on the library. When it was finished, the workers were told that Baker would mail them a check for $23,900. But as of Aug. 7, the check had yet to arrive.

The roofer contacted Baker, who reportedly said the check was mailed by certified mail and in transit.

Later, Baker told the roofer that the check “had been cashed in California, and it was going to take the bank 30 to 45 days to investigate and return the funds to the library,” according to court documents.

On Aug. 23, the deputy and sheriff met with Baker and several Clark County Library Board members, requesting statements and payment tracking information with proof of payment from Baker.

Around 3:50 p.m. the same day, Baker went to the sheriff’s office and asked to speak with McClure, where she admitted to misappropriating library funds.

According to McClure, Baker said it “started with small amounts of less than $100, then it was just easy.”

Baker allegedly said she had been transferring money from the library account to her personal checking account and using the library debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs.

She had also allegedly been paying personal bills directly with the library debit card. When asked by the sheriff how long this had been going on, Baker said between four and five years.

When asked how much money she had taken in total, she replied, “I’m not sure, maybe $40,000 to $50,000,” according to the police report.

RELATED | Clark County Library Board official arrested after allegedly embezzling up to $50,000

Officials asked why she had been embezzling the money, and Baker replied she “was just trying to survive.”

When asked about the check to the roofers, Baker admitted she never wrote it because there was not enough money to cover it.

According to court documents, “(Baker) stated, ‘I want to be clear I didn’t cash a check for $23,900.’”

Officials asked about the check being cashed in California, and Baker said it was a lie she told to buy time, and she had hoped the library would receive enough from the second-round county tax deposit to cover the check to the roofers.

Baker then turned over all library-owned items and bank records, a bank card in her name and a check to her personal account.

After speaking with the Clark County Library Board members, the deputy viewed the library bank account online through the bank’s portal.

According to court documents, there were 35 withdrawal transactions from the savings account that “look to be of a personal nature, including payments to a credit card company, PayPal transfers, and transfers to a personal checking account in (Baker’s) name.”

Of the 35 transactions, 15 were $1,000 or above and transferred to Baker’s private account.

These transactions started on Jan. 25 and continued to Aug. 30. Baker was booked into the Clark County Jail later that day.

On Sept. 24, Baker met with Clark County Sheriff’s deputies again.

Baker told the deputies the embezzlement began when she stepped down from the library board as treasurer and became the bookkeeper in late 2017. According to Baker, “any charges that looked suspicious were probably hers.”

Baker reportedly admitted she had paid herself multiple times a month and listed the transactions as payroll “above and beyond what was authorized by the board.” She explained a specific instance where she had paid herself $800 and called it an “annual salary” while continuing to pay herself monthly.

She also admitted to using the library account to make credit card payments to places like I.E. Citi Bank, Merrick Bank, Zulily, Amazon, Credit One and Comenity Pay.

Baker reportedly stated that all PayPal charges were hers because “the library didn’t use PayPal for anything.” She said she would use PayPal as a “line of credit” to stores like TJ Maxx.

Further, when deputies asked her about charges to the library account from Walmart, she said she didn’t remember any specific Walmart purchases but said, “it is not impossible that they were her charges.”

Lastly, she admitted to getting money orders from the local post office using the library deposit card.

On Wednesday, reached out to Clark County District Library for comment about the alleged theft, however, we did not receive a response. also reached out to the president of the Clark County Library Board, Connie Barg, who also did not respond.

As of Wednesday morning, Baker was still listed as the Clark County Library Board treasurer on the Clark County Library website.