Court photo

Stock photo

OLYMPIA - A former Coulee City police chief has been charged with fraud for collecting workers' compensation benefits while working in the world of pinup models.

Brenda Lynn Cavoretto, 47, is scheduled for arraignment on Monday in Thurston County District Court with two counts of making false or misleading statements to allegedly collect more than $67,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.

Cavoretto was police chief of Coulee City when she was hurt in February 2012. According to court records, a domestic violence suspect had hanged himself in a barn and as she tried to take down the body, the 285-pound corpse fell on her. She sustained back, shoulder and abdominal injuries and claimed severe psychological trauma so much she couldn’t work or be around people.

Later in 2012, Cavoretto worked as a police officer in Soap Lake until May 2013 when she began receiving Labor and Industries replacement payments and vocational services due to lingering effects from the falling corpse incident.

Cavoretto began seeing a psychologist in May 2015, reporting she was having severe nightmares and was unable to leave the house and unable to work, according to court records. The psychologist determined she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Labor and Industries requested an investigation in the spring of 2019.

The L&I investigation reportedly found that from 2015 through early 2020, Cavoretto was photographing pinup models, organizing pinup pageants and fundraisers, and was often photographed herself under the names “Tuff as Nailz” and “The Black Widow Bettie.” The state says some of her pinup activities were through her own modeling, event and photography business licensed in 2015.

According to court records, Cavoretto told a bar crowd that her nonprofit group, Electric Pinup Dolls, had become a “full-time job” and that the group raised more than $20,000 in 2018.