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Ex-Granite School District employee sent to jail for embezzling $100K

Tracy Atkin, 54.
Tracy Atkin, 54.
Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Granite School District employee who admitted she embezzled more than $100,000 from the district and an education union was sentenced to jail Monday.

Tracy Atkin, 54, of West Valley City, was ordered Monday to serve 60 days in the Salt Lake County Jail. She pleaded guilty in October to communications fraud and unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary, second-degree felonies.

Additional second-degree felony charges of money laundering and pattern of unlawful activity were dismissed as part of a plea deal, as well as two third-degree felony counts of theft.

A warrant was initially ordered for Atkin's arrest Monday morning when she failed to appear at the scheduled sentencing hearing. The warrant was recalled and she was sentenced later in the day, according to court records.

Between July 2011 and February 2016, while working as the administrative secretary for the district's planning and boundaries department, Atkin siphoned off $87,863 from the district and $17,600 from the Granite Education Support Professional Association, according to charging documents.

During that time, Atkin received an Employee of the Year award from the Utah State Education Association.

An audit found that Atkin took an estimated 50 checks made out to the Granite School District for building and field rental fees totaling $87,863. She deposited them at three Salt Lake County Granite Credit Union locations, though the Granite School District does not have an authorized account with the credit union, court documents state.

Atkin deposited checks into the account of the Granite Education Support Professional Association, an employee union unaffiliated with the district where she served as president from August 2011 to July 2015, and as treasurer from August 2015 to May 2016, according to the charges.

Dave Clark, who became president of the union in August 2015, told police he requested the complete financial records from the prior three years when he took over, including mandatory audit reports. Atkin refused to provide the reports, charges state.

During the union audit, two unauthorized checks were discovered totaling $1,016 with Atkin's name in the memo line, allegedly written to pay for her trailer park rent. A union official whose name was on the signature line told police he never signed the checks.

Atkin was placed on administrative leave Feb. 19 and resigned from her job March 17, according to Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsely.

According to letters submitted to the court Monday, Atkin was supporting her brother financially while he lived with her when he was unemployed and homeless.

Atkin's son wrote that he lived with his mother while he had no job and no place to live after the death of his father. The man claimed Atkin also helped pay his dying father's medical bills, bought him food and helped care for him.

Restitution will be addressed at hearing Feb. 27.