Cindy Greatrex pleads not guilty, sets trial date — She’s accused of stealing more than $67,000 from La Jolla Recreation Center funds

Cindy Greatrex pleaded not guilty to all charges at her arraignment for felony grand theft in San Diego Superior Court this afternoon. A trial was set for Monday, March 12. The former chair of the La Jolla Park & Recreation, Inc. board is accused of stealing more than $67,000 from the organization.

At the hearing, Greatrex, 51, showed up with a new lawyer, John D. Kirby, who asked Judge Michael Smyth to replace Paul Neuharth as Greatrex’s attorney of record. At first, Kirby entered a plea of “guilty on all charges” on Greatrex’s behalf, after which Greatrex corrected him and he apologized. The people’s attorney, Chandelle Konstanzer, said she was not informed of the change in counsel before court.

Greatrex, who is free on $70,000 bond, is accused of writing company checks for $67,935.96 from La Jolla Park and Recreation, Inc. payable to herself or cash, and cashing them into her personal accounts. Greatrex claims the funds in question were used to reimburse herself for purchasing grant-writing fees that she did “over a long period of time” on behalf of the Rec Center.

The trial will be held in the new downtown courthouse slated to open in January, assuming no plea bargain can be struck at a readiness conference set for Jan. 30.