Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 27, 2013

Former HCRSP employee receives probation

CENTERVILLE — A woman hired in October of 2008 to work as a front desk clerk at Honey Creek Resort State Park then in April of 2009 reassigned to the sales department has been found guilty of fifth degree theft.

Kathleen Gale Ewing, 48, of Centerville, was originally charged with second degree theft, a class D felony. The charge stemmed from a special state audit that showed Ewing allegedly from Aug. 23, 2011 to Oct. 17, 2011 processed 10 improper refund transactions totaling $2,770.16.

"Of this amount, $1,976.08 was deposited to Ms. Ewing’s personal bank account and $794.08 was used to make payments on her mother’s credit card account which she was authorized to use," states the audit.

Part of Ewing's duties was to prepare, bill and adjust group bills. The audit alleges "she was able to create improper portfolios showing refunds to certain accounts or credit certain portfolios directly to show a refund owed to the group. She also processed the refunds she created by applying them to her personal bank account using her debit card or as a payment on a credit card she was authorized to use. The refunds were described on the improper portfolios as refunded rooms, wrong rates or overcharges."

Judge Kirk A. Daily on Feb. 15 sentenced Ewing to a deferred judgment on the charge of fifth degree theft, a simple misdemeanor, a fine and two years probation, no supervision. Ewing filed a written plea of guilty on Feb. 15.

Ewing owes Appanoose County $416 for this criminal case.

Ewing was suspended on Oct. 20, 2011 and was terminated from employment on Oct. 24, 2011 after admitting to improperly posting refunds to her personal bank account and a credit card account she was authorized to use.

Ewing during an interview with the Appanoose County Sheriff's office stated "she accidently applied a refund owed to a group back to her credit card. She had the credit card on her desk when processing the transaction.  When she noticed the credit on her statement and no one noticed the mistake, she figured it was a way to catch up on her bills."

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
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