Red Brick embezzler out of jail, agrees to pay back $125k she stole from city of Aspen
Convicted embezzler Angie Callen, who admitted in July that she stole from Aspen taxpayers as the executive director of the Red Brick Council for the Arts, has committed to paying back the $125,000 she stole.
Beginning on Nov. 15, Callen will pay $1,000 a month toward the restitution she owes, said David Rousseau, financial collections officer in the 9th Judicial District.
“She seems willing to do something,” he said last week, noting that Callen contacted him after being released from custody last month.
With court fines and fees, the total amount Callen owed is just over $128,400.
Callen paid $50,000 in May, when she pleaded guilty to felony theft.
Callen must begin her 140 hours of public service next week, according to the conditions of her sentence, which stipulate that she start that work within one month after being released from custody.
Callen was ordered straight to the Pitkin County Jail on July 1 when District Court Judge Chris Seldin sentenced her to 90 days.
She served 47 days and was released Aug. 16 for good behavior, time served and attending classes and counseling.
Pitkin County Jail Commander Jill Vallario said state statute allows for inmates to serve only 60% of their sentence if jail officials determine it’s warranted.
“People might not want to hear this but she was a model inmate and caused no issues,” Vallario said. “Unless they are a problem child, they get that earned time and she earned that time based on state statute.”
Jackie Kasabach, the former president of the Red Brick Council board of directors when the allegations against Callen emerged, said Friday that she’s glad to see that restitution will get paid, but she believes it was too light of a sentence.
“I believe in time off for good behavior but she had a relative cush sentence,” she said. “She should have spent 90 days in jail with work release.”
Callen’s actions led the city, which owns the Red Brick building, to terminate its contract with the Red Brick Council, a nonprofit that managed the operation.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department now runs the Red Brick Center for the Arts under Sarah Roy.
“What (Callen) did was destroy a 25-year tradition,” Kasabach said of the relationship between the council and the city.
Callen declined to comment on the record Friday.
As part of her plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the felony charges of committing cyber crimes, embezzlement of public property and identity theft.
Callen is on five years of supervised probation, under which she cannot harass, intimidate or retaliate against the victim or witnesses.
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Embezzlement and theft are recurring themes in the Aspen area crime annals, and the District Court judge who sent Derek Johnson to prison for six years Tuesday brought up three recent cases before passing down the sentence.