Plea Delayed In Washoe County Embezzlement Case

RENO - The Washoe County engineer accused of embezzling more than two million dollars to pay for a gambling habit will get more time to enter a plea.

54-year-old Paul Orphan appeared in Washoe County District Court with his attorney this morning. His attorney, John Oakes, asked for and was granted 30 days to work on a possible plea deal with the District Attorney's office.

Orphan has been in jail since he surrendered himself to authorities on June 19th. He faces up to five counts of grand theft. Investigators say, as an engineering manager in the water resources division, Orphan stole the money through a scheme to sell county water rights.

Court records show that Orphan gambled away more than a million dollars at the Nugget casino.

Orphan had been employed with Washoe County's Department of Water Resources since 1988.