Donald Philip Atkinson, the retired El Dorado County Sheriff’s sergeant and ex-president of El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Association who was charged with 44 counts embezzlement, fraud, forgery, perjury, grand theft and theft from an elder or dependent adult, pleaded no contest to three charges and accompanying special allegations Monday morning.
Atkinson, 50, appeared in court with public defender Robert Banning with what was originally supposed to be a bail hearing while the terms of the plea were read off by Senior Assistant Attorney General Ronald D. Smetana, who is jointly representing the prosecution with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.
Atkinson, having entered a not guilty plea in March, agreed to change his plea to no contest on three of the 44 counts, while all the other counts would be dropped upon sentencing. The charges he agreed to were felony embezzlement by a public or private officer exceeding $950, with a special allegation of excessive loss of more than $200,000; felony theft from an elder or dependent adult, Lise Lotte Holzer; and perjury pertaining to statements regarding money of the DSA with a special allegation of it being an aggravated white-collar crime.
The plea deal will result in Atkinson serving five years in state prison and paying restitution of $338,348.14 to the DSA as well as $100,000 to Holzer. Assets in excess of $55,000 plus interest from Atkinson’s Bank of America account will also be paid to the DSA. While in prison and on parole, $1,000 will be taken from Atkinson’s retirement each month to the DSA and Holzer.
A judgment and sentencing hearing was then scheduled for July 30 at 8 a.m.
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or email@example.com. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.