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Secretary booked for stealing funds from fair

A former Island Fair board member was booked Monday on suspicion of second-degree theft.

Christall Murphy, 29, of Oak Harbor allegedly stole $1,600 in funds from the Island County Fair Association while she was secretary of the board and the superintendent for the fair’s Fiddle Faddle Farm, the youth activity event held each year during the fair. Murphy, a volunteer, allegedly received checks totaling more than $1,600 to purchase supplies for fair activities, but did not provide receipts for purchases.

She was booked and released on her own recognizance.

According to fair board president Dan Ollis, irregularities were found immediately following the fair.

“After trying to meet with Murphy to resolve the issue, the board contacted the Island County Sheriff’s office. We also contacted the state auditor’s office,” Ollis said.

“We were contacted in November and began an investigation. It appears that there aren’t receipts for all the money and some of them appear fraudulent,” said Sheriff Mike Hawley.

In April, Murphy was allegedly issued a check for $300, as well as a check in July for $2,000 and one for $700 in August.

“When she left the fair Sunday evening we didn’t see her again. She missed three board meetings and would not meet with us,” said Linda Perkins, a board member.

“The board is united in the fact that we had to do the right thing and contact the sheriff’s office,” Perkins said.

In a written statement, the Island County Fair Board and the Island County Fair Association said both groups collectively attempted to find a reasonable explanation for the matter.

“We, the members of the board, are shocked and saddened by the breach of trust of a volunteer from our community,” the statement said.

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