Court of Appeals reinstates charges against accused Summit County embezzler Robert Polich

Sawyer D’Argonne
Robert Polich, 66, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and embezzlement of public property at a hearing on Tuesday.

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued a ruling to reinstate a felony theft charge against Robert Polich earlier this week, a man accused of embezzling more than $550,000 from the Hamilton Creek Metropolitan District between 2000 and 2015.

Polich was arrested in July 2015 after allegations arose that he was writing checks to himself while serving as a manager and accountant for Hamilton Creek via Mountain Systems Inc., his own bookkeeping company.

Polich went to court on the matter, but the case was dropped in a decision from District Judge Mark Thompson due to complications of a separate embezzlement case. In 2014 Polich plead guilty to embezzling more than $150,000 from the Enclave Homeowners Association in Keystone, and agreed to 90-days in prison and four years of probation. After his arrest for the Hamilton Creek case, Polich’s team argued that the two cases should have been tried together under the mandatory joinder rule because they stemmed from the same criminal episode. Judge Thompson dismissed the case.

But the Court of Appeals found, in an unpublished decision on Thursday, that the multiple thefts allegedly committed by Polich were dissimilar and not subject to the mandatory combining of cases.

“Because the proof that defendant committed theft in the Enclave case does not form a substantial portion of the proof that he committed theft in the Hamilton Creek Case, and vice versa, we conclude the two crimes do not involve interrelated proof and as a matter of law are not part of the same ‘criminal episode,’’” wrote Judge Gilbert Román in the decision.

The charges against Polich were reinstated, and it’s expected he’ll be ordered to appear in court in the coming weeks, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Polich could face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

Polich’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

“We are determined to see this case through to a conclusion,” said Heidi McCollum, an assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. “While sometimes the path to justice can take unexpected turns and significant time to reach a conclusion, we look forward to being able to present evidence and prove our case.”

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