Rodeo queen busted for stealing $22K from employer, sheriff says

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A Treasure Valley rodeo queen has been booked on allegations she stole more than $20,000 from her employer, the Ada County Sheriff's Office says.

Detectives say Chelsi Ann Horton, who worked as a bookkeeper for a Canyon County based company, paid herself more than her agreed-upon salary between November 2012 and October 2013. The sheriff's office also says she paid herself overtime she never worked and deposited business checks into her personal account.

Horton is the current Miss Caldwell Night Rodeo. The 23-year-old Kuna resident was booked on felony grand theft charges but is out after posting $10,000 bail.

Horton is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Aug. 20.

Horton's attorney, Dennis Sallaz, submitted a statement to KBOI 2News:

"In our preliminary and ongoing investigation into this matter, we have discovered that King Concrete and Construction Company, owned and operated by Gene and Stephanie King, employed Miss Horton during the same time they allegedly became delinquent on back taxes and other violations which they are currently being investigated for by the IRS."

"We believe the pending charges against Miss Horton are an attempt to place the blame for any monetary shortfalls owed to the IRS upon Miss Horton while she was an employee, (and) when we discovered that they had filed these allegations against her, we immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and arranged for Miss Horton to make a voluntary appearance in an effort to get these spurious allegations against our client into the court as soon as possible."

"We are confident that by the time this case has been fully investigated and adjudicated, Miss Horton will be found innocent of all charges."

King Concrete and Construction told KBOI 2News that there is "no tax investigation or problem of that nature."