Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has indicted a former leader of the Maricopa County Republicans, accusing her of stealing nearly $3,000 from the party and forging a receipt to cover her tracks.
Michelle Adams of Peoria, former chairwoman of the county GOP committee, was indicted Thursday on felony charges of theft, forgery and tampering with a public record, according to a news release from the attorney general’s office.
She faces up to nine years in prison if convicted on all counts.
The charges stem from a party check for $2,862.50 that Adams wrote to herself in January 2002. Adams claimed the check was a reimbursement for a personal check she used to reserve the Raven Golf Club in Phoenix for a Republican fund-raising tournament. When Adams was questioned about the payment, she provided an invoice.
But the invoice was a forgery and the golf club had no records of receiving a deposit from Adams or the county committee, Goddard said in the news release.
"In addition to being a crime, her actions were a betrayal of the trust of those who elected her," Goddard said.
Adams couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said Adams was served with the indictment, but wasn’t taken into custody.
The Tribune first reported in January a criminal investigation was launched after new county Republican chairman Tom Liddy reported several discrepancies while he and new treasurer Laura Knaperek were trying to reconcile the accounts of the committee.
To avoid a conflict of interest as an active Republican politician, County Attorney Richard Romley sent the case to the attorney general’s office for further investigation.
Republicans forced Adams out of office because of the accounting discrepancies.