KINGMAN — A criminal case against a former Bullhead City employee charged with theft and fraud remains at an impasse.
Donald William Carley, 51, of Kingman, is charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, solicitation of fraud and theft.
Carley is accused of stealing metal and signs belonging to the city worth more than $4,000 between Nov. 14 and Dec. 28, 2017, at the city’s public works department.
Carley’s defense attorney, Richard Weiss, argued Friday that the case should be tried in Bullhead City Justice Court as a misdemeanor. Weiss, a former Superior Court judge, said the incidents were a city violation and not a crime. He also asked to dismiss the charges.
“There is no false statements, no victims, why are we doing this?” Weiss asked.
Weiss said this was a bad practice that happened before Carley worked at the city. He also argued that trying the case was a waste of taxpayers’ money since there are more dangerous people out there to be prosecuted.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jaimye Ashley argued that she will not offer anything lower than her current plea offer.
Under Ashley’s plea offer, Carley would plead guilty to theft and face only probation. There would be no additional jail time and no restitution. However, she refused to designate the crime as a misdemeanor.
Ashley said that when the grand jury indicted Carley, jurors were angry at the crimes and wanted to throw the book at him. Bullhead City property like signs, scrap metal and culverts were found at Carley’s home, she said.
In holding the settlement conference, Superior Court Commissioner Doug Camacho said the two parties are at an impasse and if Carley believes he is innocent, the case should go to trial.
Carley’s case is being heard before Superior Court Commissioner Billy Sipe Jr. Carley’s trial is set for March 17. Ashley’s plea offer expires at the pre-trial hearing.
Carley’s codefendant, Mark Donald Perry, pleaded guilty last March to theft and was sentenced to two years on probation. He had been charged with stealing items belonging to the city between Jan. 15 and Dec. 28, 2017.
Carley had been operations manager for the city’s public works department. Perry was facilities management supervisor for the city. Both have since resigned from the city.
Prosecutors dismissed a charge of theft in May 2018 against a third codefendant, Melissa Solano.
Bullhead City police began its investigation after allegations made by a former city employee during an exit interview. One allegation was that an inmate fabricated a metal stair for personal use. Another allegation was an employee taking a culvert home. The items have been recovered.