When a person is hired to handle funds generated by a town or city, the position comes with great responsibility and equal trust. The residents of that same town pay their bills and taxes with the expectation that their money is going to the purpose for which it is intended. It may come as a surprise then when a town employee is suspected of embezzlement. Such is purportedly the case in one Louisiana town.
Recently, an accountant was appointed to conduct an audit of the town’s financial affairs. The audit revealed that money appeared to have been misappropriated during the past two fiscal years. In the year that ended in the Spring of 2013, $44,800 was apparently missing. The following year, another $18,000 was supposedly unaccounted for.
After November of last year, reportedly no more money was missing. This date appears to coincide with the time that one of the town’s employees left her position. The mayor, who has spoken to the local newspaper, did not name the worker. He reportedly stated that the woman resigned after the accountant reported the missing funds, which were comprised of utility and tax monies.
While the town official has said that the matter is being investigated by the prosecutor’s office, no charges have as yet been filed against the suspected former employee. However, if in the future, this woman is formally charged with embezzlement in this matter, she will still be entitled to full protection under Louisiana laws, as well as the presumption of her innocence. It is important to remember that she has not been charged with any crime and she may in fact not be guilty of any wrongdoing. She may still seek assistance in focusing on how to clear her name in this matter and may find that the assistance of defense counsel at this stage of the proceedings could go a long ways toward achieving a result that is in her own best interests.
Source: klfy.com, “State audit reveals missing funds in Delcambre”, , May 6, 2014