Angela Callen gets 90 days for theft from Red Brick in Aspen
A district judge ordered Angela Callen to county jail for 90 days, starting today, for stealing at least $125,000 from an Aspen nonprofit she once oversaw.
Speaking publicly about the matter for the first time since she surrendered to authorities Aug. 31, Angela Callen also made her first public apology for embezzling six figures while she was the executive director of the Red Brick Council for the Arts. Callen held that role from 2014 until her termination in June 2017.
“For the past four years I have been imprisoned,” she said, her voice cracking, during a hearing held in the Pitkin County Courthouse. “Imprisoned by silence and by shame brought on by the guilt and regret of my actions. I feel that at times, I haven’t properly conveyed how sorry and regretful I am — largely because I haven’t been able to.
“And I know that I have not only hurt an organization that was so dear to me, but that I hurt people who trusted me and respected me, and people who I deeply respected, and I still do.”
Callen’s actions led the city, which owns the Red Brick building, to terminate its contract with the Red Brick Council. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department now runs the Red Brick Center for the Arts under Sarah Roy.
“This has been a sordid affair for everybody involved, lasting more than two years,” said Jackie Kasabach, who was the president of the Red Brick Council’s board when the allegations against Callen emerged.
Kasabach said the Red Brick was a “very small nonprofit … and the amount of money she stole is virtually a year’s budget.”
Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin also sentenced Callen to five years of supervised probation and 140 hours of public service. Callen also must pay $125,000 to the city in restitution. She wrote a check for $50,000 toward that debt on May 6, the day she pleaded guilty to felony theft. That was the agreed upon amount between Callen and the prosecution, though prosecutor Tony Hershey said the amount Callen stole was closer to $150,000.
Also as part of a plea agreement, the prosecution dropped the felony charges of committing cyber crimes, embezzlement of public property and identity theft.
This story will be updated.
Next week, crews will begin making improvements to the Roaring Fork Whitewater Park in Basalt, including tweaks to the waves, installing a boardwalk and upgrades to the Fisherman’s Park boat ramp.
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