Gene Lehmann Managing Editor
The Ada News
Felony embezzlement allegations have been leveled at Roff Town Secretary Connie Hilburn over missing water payments.
In papers filed with the Pontotoc County Court Clerk’s office, county district attorney Chris Ross alleges Hilburn embezzled approximately $1,000 between July 8, 2011, and Aug. 3, 2011.
The 63-year-old Roff employee will be allowed to retain a lawyer and surrender herself to county sheriff’s officials, sheriff John Christian confirmed Monday.
The crime is punishable by a maximum of five years, a fine of $5,000 and restitution paid, according to court documents.
In an affidavit filed by sheriff’s deputy James C. Kennedy, it is alleged water payment deposits from July 8, July 22, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, 2011, were missing. The total loss is listed at $4,013.21. However, most of the deposits were checks and only about $1,000 was paid in cash, officials have said.
The affidavit also states Hilburn first noticed missing funds in July and alerted Roff City Council member Brent Crawford but no action was taken. The affidavit also alleges Hilburn noticed three additional deposits missing in August 2011.
She wrote a letter to the entire Roff city panel and took “responsibility for the missing deposits” and offered to take out a personal loan to cover the city’s loss, the document states.
Hilburn voluntarily submitted to a formal interview at the county sheriff’s department on Nov. 2, 2011.
The affidavit states Hilburn told investigators she was the only person who received, handled and deposited funds for the Roff Public Works Department. She further stated she was the only person to place deposits with Oklahoma Heritage Bank at the night depository. After making the deposits, she told officials she could not say what occurred after that point.
“(Hilburn) stated she could not prove she made the deposits and had no witnesses to support her claim,” the affidavit states.
Lawmen interviewed Oklahoma Heritage bank branch Manager Jimmie Bostic Jr. The banker confirmed for investigators the bank did not show Hilburn making deposits on July 8 or Aug. 3, 2011. He confirmed deposits were processed on those dates, but none were from the city of Roff. Bostic also said as long as he has been employed at the bank, no customer or business had claimed desposited funds as missing.
Last year, Roff water customers were urged to call their respective banks to stop payment on checks used to pay their water bill.
The affidavit states all money received from customers on the dates remains missing, yet none of the checks have been presented to banks for processing.
Hilburn was at work Monday and will continue to perform her duties until the matter is resolved, officials said.