The attorney for former Napa Police Department dispatcher Dannille Vanderpool said this afternoon his client had no intention to defraud contributors with a fund set up to help her fight cancer.Vanderpool, 29, was charged with 13 grand theft counts alleging she stole $50,085 from the fund, one count of forgery and one count of identity theft. A warrant for her arrest was issued Monday.”It’s not correct to say she reported she had cancer for the purpose of obtaining money,”defense attorney Seth Chazin said. “It was not her idea to collect money. People offered it.”The complaint filed by the California Attorney General’s Office said the alleged grand thefts occurred between Oct. 10, 2007 and Jan. 25, 2009.Chazin said Vanderpool made it known in 2001 she had ovarian cancer. “Not until October 2007 did people offer money,” Chazin said.Vanderpool has not yet been arrested or turned herself in and no court date for her arraignment has been set, Chazin said.”We’re still working things out,” he said.Among the contributors to the fund are the Napa Fire Fighters Association, which gave $11,711; the Napa Police Officers Association, which gave $5,800; the Women’s Auxiliary Corporation, which gave $3,100; and the Napa Deputy Sheriff’s Association, which gave $1,000, according to the criminal complaint.Donations also were made by Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Concord and Calistoga police. The complaint alleges Vanderpool took $10,000 from the trust on Oct. 26, 2007.Chazin said Vanderpool “is very concerned” and “wants to make sure any people who are owed restitution get it as soon as possible.”Napa police started a criminal investigation after they received information about possible wrongdoing by Vanderpool.According to the complaint form by Napa police investigator Ron Appel filed with the Napa County criminal justice system against Vanderpool, during the calendar years 2006 through 2009 Vanderpool claimed to have terminal cancer.”The City of Napa along with numerous businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations donated money, time and services and labor to Dannille Vanderpool on the belief perpetuated by Dannille Vanderpool that she had cancer,” the complaint states.”Evidence obtained through search warrants revealed that Vanderpool never had or suffered from cancer. When interviewed, Dannille Vanderpool admitted to lying about her illness while accepting donations which totaled into the tens of thousands of dollars,” the Police Department’s complaint states. Vanderpool was hired as a fulltime public safety dispatcher on Jan. 1, 2005, and left her job on Jan. 26, 2009.
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