110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Money has been repaid; Sheriff's Office investigating
By Joe Crews
posted Dec 17, 2013 - 12:11:55pm
The town clerk in Pierson has resigned because of irregularities that turned up in the town’s bank accounts, including three unauthorized withdrawals totaling more than $71,000, and a missed final payment on a federal loan that ended up costing the town an additional $17,000 in interest when the payment was finally made six months later.
Clerk Debbie Bass, who couldn’t be reached for comment, tendered her resignation in a Dec. 16 letter to the Town Council. The letter was made public at a nearly hourlong special meeting Monday night.
“Last year, I made a horrible decision that has affected the town, the council, my family and the public,” the letter reads in part. “I took funds from the town for my own personal use. With the generosity of my extended family, I am repaying the funds back to you today. … I have shamed and embarrassed my family, friends and the people I was charged to take care of in the town of Pierson. All I can ask for is your forgiveness and leniency.”
The irregularities came to light in November as part of accountant Fred Weston’s routine audit of the town’s finances.
A cashier’s check in the amount of $51,697.12 accompanied Bass’ resignation letter, and Bass told the auditor she had already repaid $20,000.
Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett told the Town Council he had notified the Sheriff's Office; an investigator there said the Sheriff's Office will conduct an investigation.
Read the rest of the story, including the Town Council's reaction, in the Dec. 19-22 Weekend edition of The Beacon. To subscribe to The Beacon online, click here. For a list of newsstand locations, click here. To have the print edition mailed to your home twice a week, send your address via email to email@example.com.
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