Former Napa Police Department dispatcher Dannille Vanderpool was sentenced to 179 days in the Napa County jail and five years probation this morning for grand theft of money she received in donations after lying about having cancer. Vanderpool, 29, received the county jail term as part of her guilty plea to one count of grand theft in July in Napa County Superior Court. The California Attorney General’s Office charged her in April with 13 grand felony counts alleging she took approximately $50,000 from a fund for her cancer recovery and financial support. Vanderpool also was ordered to make restitution to the victims over the next five years, said Christine Gasparac, a spokeswoman with the California Attorney General’s Office.Vanderpool’s attorney Seth Chazin reiterated this afternoon his client had no intention to defraud the contributors, many of them law enforcement agencies.”This matter came from her mental illness, undiagnosed bi-polar and depression disorder, not from a malicious act or from greed,” Chazin said.The complaint alleged the thefts occurred between Oct. 10, 2007, and Jan. 25, 2009. Vanderpool also was charged with one count each of forgery and identity theft. Among the contributors to the fund were 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. 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.Vanderpool entered her plea and was sentenced before Judge Francisca Tisher. She was remanded immediately.
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