A long-time employee of the Yakima Police Department appeared in court Tuesday on charges she embezzled thousands of your taxpayer dollars.

Known simply as 'Fran' to most people, the former YPD employee was loved by everyone.

"It was a shock. It was like no way. No, not Fran," said Yakima Police Department Captain Rod Light. "Of anybody in this whole entire organization, she would be one of the last people that we would ever consider or think that would have engaged in this type of activity of behavior."

Our News Partner KIMA Action News reports Frances Nettleton had sole responsibility of the taxpayer money in the home detention fund for the jail; money for electronic monitoring.

She's now accused of violating that responsibility.

Police say Nettleton admitted stealing more than $5,000 under the pressure of a looming department audit.

According to the police report, Nettleton told investigators she began stealing back in November of 2009. That's the same month her stepson, an off duty Las Vegas cop, was gunned down in his home.

KIMA sat down with Nettleton three years ago to discuss her stepson's death.

"It makes us feel like they're taking this seriously and they're trying to get these people off the street," Nettleton said of her step son's murder investigation.

To get all sides, KIMA tried to speak with her at her home and in court, but she would not talk about the trouble she's in now.

Action News asked, "YPD says she admitted to taking a little over $5,000. Could there be more taxpayer money that she has taken over time?"

"That's hard to say. We did an audit. The city did an audit on the accounts and as much as we can tell, we got to the bottom number," said Light.

It's certainly not the most serious case Yakima Police have ever worked, but in some ways it's one of the hardest.

"It's disheartening," said Light. "It's a sad situation and most of all, it's very troubling. Especially something happening with the confines of the police department like this."

Yakima plans to seek restitution to recover the money Nettleton is accused of stealing. She's expected to back in court next year.