Lisa Whetstone Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzling From Town of Mills
The Town Clerk/Treasurer of Mills is accused of taking more than $64,000 from the town.
Lisa Whetstone has pleaded not guilty to one charge grand theft, and one charge of failing as a public servant to account for, deliver and pay over property received by virtue of the office.
Investigators with the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation say the case started in January 2015, when the Wyoming Department of Audit began a performance audit of Mills from July 2013 to June 2014.
Whetstone was among three employees in charge of handling the town's finances, with one of those employees leaving during fiscal year.
Auditors could not find cash received by the town that was to be deposited into its bank account.
The 2013-2014 fiscal year was short by $26,668.80.
The auditors expanded their work for July through December and found another $18,877.34 short, for a total of $45,546.14.
The DCI eventually got involved and the investigation further determined deposits were not made timely, often had the incorrect date, and never included change,according to the affidavit.
Sept. 9, 2015, marked the last day significant cash was not deposited.
The missing funds for that month alone amounted to $4,520.80.
Auditors also reviewed the accounts of town-issued credit card, including one for Whetstone who was found to use it for personal expenses.
The Town of Mills was liable for all charges and there was no personal liability.
In the court affidavit, investigators say, "Of the Town issued credit cards, Mrs. Whetstone was the only person to consistently carry a significant monthly balance, which also incurred late fees, over limit fees, and interest. Mrs. Whetstone was the sole person to receive all the Towns credit card statements and made the payments."
The audit conducted indicated a total loss to the Town of Mills is $64,383.51,
On Sept. 18, the auditor and Propps told Whetstone about the investigation.
Two weeks later, Propps told Mayor Marrolyce Wilson about the theft and Whetstone was the primary suspect.
Investigators added that Wilson's only response was to "cover her ears."
The affidavit goes on to say "Thereafter, both Wilson and Whetstone informed employees of the town, that if they cooperated with law enforcement they were threatened to be disciplined and put on probation."
It added that one employee who let investigators into the town building, because he possessed a search warrant was disciplined and placed on probation by Wilson and Whetstone.
Whetstone is free on $5,000 bond awaiting trial and could face up to 10 years in prison on the grand theft charge, and up to five years in prison on the failure as a public servant charge if convicted.