110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Former Pierson clerk arrested in theft of town funds
Town Council to take up hiring new clerk during Tuesday, Jan. 14, meeting
By Joe Crews
posted Jan 13, 2014 - 11:28:12am
Former Pierson Town Clerk Debbie Bass was arrested Jan. 10, and was charged with grand theft and with taking part in an organized scheme to defraud.
Bass, 43, who resigned her Pierson job in December after admitting to taking town money for personal use, was arrested at her attorney’s office and booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail.
The jail website listed her as not in custody late in the day Jan. 10, but noted she had a court appearance set for Saturday, Jan. 11.
The charges stem from Bass’ admission that she took more than $71,000 in town funds. Her admission came in a resignation letter presented at a Town Council meeting Dec. 16, when the missing money was first disclosed publicly.
In her letter, Bass said she took the money in three separate withdrawals in late 2012. The town’s auditor, accountant Fred Weston, reported to the Town Council that he discovered the funds missing during a routine audit.
“The auditor said he had requested records from Bass to clear up the issue, but she never produced the requested records,” Volusia County Sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said. “When his efforts to clear up the discrepancies proved fruitless, the auditor reported the situation to town officials.”
In her resignation letter, Bass enclosed a cashier’s check for about $51,000, and said she had already repaid $20,000. Davidson said auditors are still going over the books to confirm her claim and to determine if any other funds are missing.
Meanwhile, applications were being taken through Jan. 13 for a new town clerk. An update on the hiring process is scheduled for a Town Council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 14.
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