The former executive director of Discovery Counseling Center has partially repaid the nonprofit as part of an embezzlement plea deal, according to reports.
This spring, Thomas Martin was charged with four felony counts of grand theft embezzlement after spending $162,000 of the Danville-based center's money between July 2007 and September 2010. After pleading no contest to felony charges and repaying $100,000 to the nonprofit, Contra Costa County Superior Court reduced Martin's charges to a misdemeanor and may wipe his record clean.
Although Martin, 47, did not pay the full amount embezzled, Discovery Counseling Center Treasurer Lawson Bill believes the court's decision is just.
"If somebody's not working and they have no money, it's pretty hard to squeeze out of a rock when there's nothing there," he said. "We were happy we received something because, in the long run, at least we got something back."
The returned money, which was paid in a cashier's check, will go to the center's various outreach programs including the SCRIPT program which puts counselors at all San Ramon Valley Unified campuses several days a week.
"This money just goes to pay the day to day bills," Bill said, adding that Discovery Center has since tightened internal controls with regard to finances.
Martin will be on probation for three years and must complete 200 hours of community service by next year. If he does so and does not violate his probation, the embezzlement case will be dismissed.
The Concord resident was fired from Discovery Counseling Center in October 2010 and has since been replaced by former YMCA executive director Kathy Chiverton. Prosecutors accused Martin of using a company credit card and cash withdrawals to pay for day-to-day expenses as well as extraneous items such as new tires for his vehicle and airline tickets for his family.