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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local August 01, 2014


1/29/2013 9:05:00 PM
Townsend offers restitution settlement proposal
Elise Townsend
Elise Townsend
Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

Former Prescott construction company owner Elise Townsend has made a one-time restitution settlement offer to her victims.

Once a prominent local subdivision developer who ran for the Arizona Senate, Townsend pleaded guilty to felony theft in October 2010. Prosecutors said she took $180,000 out of one of her companies' bank accounts despite knowing it would cause numerous checks to subcontractors to bounce. Townsend then shut down the company.

Townsend has been seeking to reduce her $4,500 per month payments on the $275,717 in restitution the court ordered her to pay. So far she has paid back only about $8,000.

During a December court hearing, Townsend's attorney said she just started a part-time job and can't afford the payments.

Judge Celé Hancock reset the hearing for Feb. 1 and said if the two sides don't agree on restitution payments by then, she will order Townsend to disclose information about her finances.

Townsend, currently a Tucson resident, filed a status report in Yavapai County Superior Court Friday on her efforts to find more work so she can pay back her victims.

The status report also said Townsend's family members have made a one-time restitution payment proposal to the prosecution and victims for consideration. The dollar amount of the proposal and stipulations were not in her status report, but they are likely to become public at Friday's status hearing.

"The calculation of this amount was based on an exhaustive analysis of the facts and law underlying the restitution obligation in this matter," wrote her attorneys from the Perkins Coie law firm in Phoenix. "Ms. Townsend, as she always has, desires for the victims with legitimate restitution claims to be made whole."

The report said Townsend is making $12 per hour in her part-time job that adds up to about $800 per month. She listed her job as "associate" at Deseret Industries, a Tucson nonprofit vocational rehabilitation facility and thrift store run by the LDS Church.

Her family is in "dire financial circumstances" with a shortfall of about $400 per month in its ability to cover basic expenses, the status report said.

Her last two status reports since getting out of prison on appeal on Aug. 24, 2012, list more than 100 jobs Townsend has applied for.

The jobs include everything from store clerk to City of Tucson court assistant to various construction management and customer service jobs. One unsuccessful application even went to a drywall firm owned by her husband's nephew.





Related Stories:
• Prosecution rejects Townsend restitution offer


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: O O

There is at least one other person, who was in this up to his eyeballs. Our former not so esteemed, assessor Victor Hambrick.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Gifts Should Be Returned by LDS

If one buys stolen property, and the police find I have it, that property is returned to the rightful owner with the recipient of the stolen goods getting nothing.
Elise Townsend is obviously a member in good standing of the Mormon church, or they would not have given her a job.
How much stolen money was given to the LDS? 10%? More? That was STOLEN money, and any goods given were paid for with STOLEN money. Her tax returns must be examined by the creditors' lawyers. The LDS should be forced to return what is probably a substantial amount of money and goods.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Shell A

SHE cost ME to lose my job a BPD because she had a HUGE debt owed to them and I how 'dare' I call her to try to collect 'some' of the past due balance. She was 'Elise Townsend' and it was assumed she would eventually make good on her obligations-she did NOT and left owing them and others hanging. Now that is has come down to the wire, SHE and her clan claim 'poverty', I don't think so...cowboy up pay the repercussions of your actions. Or go back to jail and live like the CRIMINAL that she IS and will always be. Too bad, so sad!

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Reality check

Elise isn't unlike a lot of individuals in our community. They screw up, and once they do, they can't get decent employment and can never make things right again. The only difference between her and them is that Elise will never get her name out of the paper. Hard to get a real job when an internet search brings up article after article about her very public bad decision.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Not a Fan

Poor Elise. And poor family. They are $400 a month short. I thing the judge should have mercy and save the family the $400 a month by giving Elise free room and board at the State prison.
And where did the family get the lump sum for a one-time payment? I say take the money-then send her to prison.
How does she afford her lawyers? Come on Courier-fill in the blanks.


Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: I found her a new job!

With hair like that, she could join the B-52's!

Signed,
Rose Mofford's hair


Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: What About

Just have to ask what about those of us that lost our homes due to her not paying off the mechanics leans during escrow. When do we get our day in court and when does Chicago Title and its staff answer for their role in all of this.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Ralph Kyner

Times are tough and a good job is hard to find. But, Townsend broke the law and has created quite the hardship for many hard working people and their families. Sooo why not put her in prison and let her get a job that pays .30 /hr. She'll always be able to work that job. She'll not be a financial burden to her family just the tax payers (what's new). And the length of her sentence can be whatever it is to pay restitution at $.30/hr.



Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I'd vote for her if she changed her hairdo. The Brillo pad has to go. Maybe she already has lol.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Boo Hoo

Really...."legitimate restitution claims"! This women will never grasp the full ramifications of her actions. Tell that to the many people that have suffered from her many financial schemes, and who suffered their own "dire finanical circumstances" because of Mrs. Townsend. Sucks having a record!

No simpathy here...EVER!


Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Ex SUB

She has no remorse for what she has done. The companies that have taken her to court are not the only people she skipped out on paying. There are several others. And then for to go out to Mississippi and do it again. She deserves to be in Jail a lot longer then she was there. And she should have to pay everyone she owes money too.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Ted's Perspective

Administration of deserved punishment or reward should be equal. I do not approve of what occurred, though I find it questionable how others in different circumstances, have managed to avoid their responsibilities. Heckling the person in the article may seem easy, though is it a double standard.

Years ago, I had several businesses and had an individual back out of a significant amount owed. The amount of my individual loss was about a quarter of the amount described here. The other individual took advantage of claiming I slandered them (when I started the legal process to recover damages). This activated my business insurance to get involved, which provides a defenses attorney, though no offence. Resulting in an impossible situation, and dismissing of the whole matter (including my original damages).


Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Protected

Put her in prison until the restitution is paid in full! Bet she will find the funds then!

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Questions About Tithing (10%)

I wonder if she still gives 10% of her earnings to the Mormon organization. Is tithing based on gross or net pay? Her Creditors should look into that. I also wonder if when one works for a Mormon-owned company, if that company automatically withholds the tithe for honchos in Salt Lake City. Another question I would like an answer to is, do Mormons only hire Mormons? I always have thought that Mormons should band together and form an organization under the banner of "Lower Tithing!!".

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: local guy

After generating bongo bucks selling homes at astronomical margins during the construction boom a few years back (raising home prices on a monthly and even bi-weekly basis) it's hard to believe there isn't enough money hidden somewhere to pay a measly couple of hundred thousand to the people she scammed.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Peggy Williamson Valley

Elise belongs in jail for a long long time. There were so many people hurt by her selfish actions.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Rick B

As much as I feel for her misfortune, I can't help but think of those she left high and dry. If she need to get 2 or maybe 3 jobs well It's what she needs to do. There's too many little guys and hard working Americans in this country just scratching out a living only to have it worsened by people like this woman. God Bless her and her victims.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: turnabout is fair play

Victims might consider selling their debt for a few more pennies on the dollar to - I don't know - THE MAFIA!!!

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Yukon Jack

Is it a $275K one time settlement offer? No? dig deeper!

Her family wasn't suffering while she was stealing food from the tables of her employees. Those fancy rodeo horses and other toys must have been nice to have while others went hungry.

There are way more victims of her crimes than were ever listed. Pay it ALL back


Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Irving Rheingold

"Nice Hair"............................LOL

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: tell me

Okay explain to me how you pay restitution when you are locked up in jail.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: J.K. Siegfried

Putting her in jail just might find out how much she can afford. And Jail is a good place for many political leaders. If she does run for office again she will have down pat one skill robing those that trusted her.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: my mistake

reading article again, i see that journalist did explain omission of details: "The dollar amount of the proposal and stipulations were not in her status report, but they are likely to become public at Friday's status hearing." good article

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Retired AZ L.E.O.

Since when do convicted felons get to dictate a "one time offer" ? Judge Hancock needs to give HER a one time offer-- follow the sentencing guidelines to the letter, or go to prison ! Besides, who's paying for some big name law firm to represent her ? If her destitute family can afford them, she has money to pay her debt.

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Really That Makes Sense

Reduce the monthly payment , but add on the years so that will give her more time to pay it, plus interest. Also add that she is not to run for any city, county, state, federal or otherwise until her debt is paid back and an apologetic proclamation made on the Yavapai County Courthouse steps.


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