Further details are emerging from the felony theft charges against former Worcester County Teachers Association treasurer Denis Inez Owens. The Dispatch reports on the union’s actions upon discovering the theft:
Essentially, Owens agreed to pay back the pilfered money and the WCTA created a new bank account to receive the restitution payments without alerting law enforcement about the $400,000-plus in stolen WCTA funds.
…The investigation revealed in June 2009, Owens completed a written confession of her involvement in the theft from the WCTA.
…Due to the substantial loss, the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) hired its own independent firm to conduct an audit of the WCTA records. That investigation revealed a total of $368,984 in unauthorized checks written to Owens, a total of $40,351 in unauthorized checks to two individuals, a total of $17,585 in unauthorized checks to a third individual and a single check for $3,500 to a fourth.
Owens was released on $100,000 bond and has a court date scheduled for September 7. The school district placed her on paid administrative leave. Meanwhile, MSEA has clammed up while the investigation continues:
When asked why no criminal charges were ever filed, or what exactly those “procedural changes” might be, spokesman Adam Mendelson said MSEA would offer no further comment on the issue.
…Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby said despite Owens’ arrest, the investigation remains open, and prosecutors are still looking into whether more people could be charged criminally for their involvement.