Former Carlsbad treasurer arrested for allegedly stealing funds from nonprofit group ArtSplash

James Comstock resigned from city job in January

CARLSBAD, Calif. - A former Carlsbad city treasurer was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing funds from a nonprofit that he volunteered with, police said.

James Comstock, 53, was arrested in Carlsbad on suspicion of grand theft and misappropriation of funds, according to Carlsbad police.

The allegations stem from Comstock's volunteer work as a treasurer for the nonprofit group, ArtSplash, not his previous employment with the city of Carlsbad, police said. Comstock resigned from his city job in January.

ArtSplash is a two-day, family event that promotes arts in Carlsbad and raises money for arts and music programs in North County schools.

Wednesday's arrest was the result of an investigation begun Jan. 31.

Police did not say how much Comstock allegedly stole or when the alleged crimes occurred, though police did say they obtained Comstock's bank records from Jan. 1, 2009 to Jan. 31, 2013.

Comstock was booked into the Vista jail in lieu of $120,000 bail.

Comstock, a Certified Public Accountant, is connected to several local businesses, including the Port Brewing/Lost Abbey Company, Pizza Port and Latitude 33 Brewery, where he is both CFO and part-owner.

Early Wednesday, when 10News contacted Lost Abbey about Comstock, Adam Martinez of the marketing department emailed: "I can confirm James Comstock is our current CFO for the Port Brewing Co. We recently had a third-party review of our financials on September 20th of this year and there were no irregularities."

Several hours later, Martinez sent another email: "Mr. Comstock was removed as CFO of Port Brewing/ the Lost Abbey effective this afternoon."  

There was no further explanation.

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