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Area police department employee arrested on suspicion of stealing from department
DEXTER, Mo. -- A former Dexter Police Department employee is free after posting bond after being charged with four counts of stealing several thousand dollars from the department.
Tammy Renee Fields, who has worked as chief secretary for Dexter police for the past 10 years, was arrested last week following an investigation by Dexter Police Department Lt. Trevor Pulley.
Pulley's investigation revealed that between June 28 and Sept. 28 Fields allegedly took a number of steps to steal funds from the police department.
A portion of the funds, according to Pulley's affidavit, derived from an account the department holds at a local bank that carries the title, "Friends of Dexter Police."
When it was suspected money was being funneled from the Friends account into Fields' personal account at the same banking facility, City Administrator Mark Stidham granted access to all documentation regarding the account over the past year. A closer examination revealed that a total of $1,520 had allegedly been electronically transferred by Fields from the department's account to her own over a three-month period using the department's own computer system.
Authorities also claim Fields had abused vacation, comp, and sick pay relating to her work.
The combined vacation, comp, and sick time that was allegedly falsified on the payroll documentation totaled $2,594.48 in extra income that was not earned.
Delving deeper into the department's receipt records, it was also discovered that in March 2010 Fields was given the responsibility to roll $600 worth of quarters to be deposited. Deposit slips revealed that only $200 was deposited, adding another $400 believed to have been taken.
Yet another discrepancy was found when the investigation revealed $890 could not be accounted for in money that was to be deposited from the city's animal shelter for housing and adoption fees.
"Upon reviewing the general ledger for all moneys deposited for the Shelter for 2010," Pulley said, "there was only $110 deposited into the account.
Humane and code officer Jeff Jarrell's log indicates he had turned in $1,000 to Fields to deposit.
Another deposit for $10 had been made from funds collected from subject finger printing, as is often done for individuals applying for state jobs that require fingerprints on file.
"I reviewed the receipt books in dispatch and there were receipts for $150. There is $140 not accounted for," Pulley said.
Additionally, money from the sale of a department lawnmower for $450 was never found as having been deposited by Fields even though she was given the money to make the transaction.
In total, $5,994.48 was discovered missing from the deposits, including the money transferred electronically into Fields' account.
Following a warrant being issued by Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn on Thursday, Fields was arrested under a cash only bond of $15,000. That bond was posted and she was released.
According to authorities, Fields admitted to Dexter Police Chief Paul Haubold that she had taken the money.
If convicted, Fields faces a term of not more than seven years on each felony count, a special term in the county jail of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $5,000 or a combination of fine and imprisonment.