Embezzlement alleged in Willamina
Tuck, a 56-year-old resident of 554 S. Main St., had a trial report conference scheduled this week before Yamhill County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Stone. However, she failed to appear, resulting in issuance of a warrant for her arrest, according to Capt. Tim Svenson of the sheriff’s office.
The celebration is a wildly popular one-day event in the West Valley community. Activities begin in the early morning and continue throughout the day, wrapping up with a parade and fireworks show.
When Robert Hollinger took over as chair in January 2012, he discovered discrepancies in a festival account maintained with Bank of America.
“There were charges that we determined were not authorized, and we went to the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Svenson said the investigation focused on bank statements from Dec. 27, 2011, Feb. 3, 2012, March 6, 2012 and May 1, 2012.
He said Tuck diverted funds from the festival account to pay her Sprint cell phone bill. He said she likely took action to conceal the evidence, so officials had to go down to the bank to obtain access.
Tuck had chaired the committee for a long time.
“I was shocked when I first saw the bank statements,” Hollinger said. “I didn’t know her that well, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”
Tuck is being represented by court-appointed attorney Janmarie Dielschneider of McMinnville.