LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A woman trusted to protect the financial security of a small Shoals fire department is accused of depositing the department's cash into her own account.
Detectives say the former Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department’s treasurer, Shirley Ann Weeks, stole nearly $39,000.
Investigators say Weeks served as an EMT treasurer for nearly five years. But, they believe the theft happened just during the past 12 months. Weeks is charged with 20 counts of fraudulent use of a debit or credit card and theft.
Fire department leaders say Weeks resigned in February amid allegations of misconduct.
Then, investigators say the Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department requested an audit of their books. That's when department leaders realized money was missing from their accounts.
“During the course of the investigation, we got photos from ATM machines from different banks around the area,” said Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Investigator, Richard Richey. “It does have her photos as the person using the debit cards at the time the transactions were made.”
Investigators say Weeks spent most of the money at convenience stores, buying gasoline and personal items.
“Volunteer fire departments depend on the community to help them raise money and get by, pay their bills and buy their equipment,” said Richey. “So $39,000 is a lot of money to anybody, especially a volunteer department like that.”
Weeks also faces animal cruelty charges in an unrelated case.
Detectives seized horses, dogs, and a donkey from Weeks' Lauderdale County property in April. On Wednesday afternoon, investigators served Weeks with a final notice which stated she had 10 days to pay for the animal’s expenses or a judge could turn the animals over to the Humane Society.
Weeks will face a judge at the end of July for arraignment on the theft and fraudulent use of a credit card charges.