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Senior center ex-director appears on theft charge

Superior Telegram

The Superior man accused of stealing nearly $47,000 from the Superior-Douglas Senior Center made an initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court last week.

Mathew Isaiah Brown, 30, faces one count felony theft. He was released on a $5,000 signature bond with the condition he has no contact with the senior center and does not use or possess any alcohol.

According to the criminal complaint:

Brown had been employed by the center since 2009. He was hired as a custodian and was named director of operations in 2011-2012. As director, his duties were to coordinate activities, pay bills and payroll. The alleged thefts began in February 2013 and continued until December. Brown told Superior Police Detective Chris Moe that he started taking small amounts, less than $100, from the general fund about two times a week. Then he started writing himself checks from the general fund, depositing money that was supposed to go into the bingo account into the general fund account to hide the checks. Brown also paid personal credit card debt out of the bingo account fund. Records indicated the total amount of unauthorized checks, credit card payments and bingo appropriations was almost $46,979.

Brown told Moe he has no excuse for this and nothing to show for taking the money. In a written statement, he said he took the money due in part to a drinking problem, his wife’s employer closing and the pressure of being a father. He told Superior Police Officer Ross Magnuson that he knew he had done wrong and would pay back the debt completely.

A preliminary hearing for Brown is set for March 26. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.