Police Investigate possible theft by former employee of Habitat for Humanity of Athens-Limestone Co.


(Photo: WHNT)

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Police are investigating a possible theft of funds by a former employee of Habitat for Humanity of Athens-Limestone County.

"We are investigating a possible theft and possibly some other activity but that's all I can say at this time," Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson told WHNT News 19.

Chief Johnson declined to name the suspect or to disclose the amount of the theft, saying investigators are still looking at records.

Executive Director Amanda Garlen discovered the questionable activity at Habitat. She took over as Habitat director in April.

Habitat officials have good reason to fear the investigation might hamper donations, which the organization relies on. United Way of Limestone County alone gave $10,000 last year.

"We counseled the new director they needed to immediately get with an accounting firm and do what we call a forensic audit," say United Way of Limestone County Executive Director Kaye McFarlen.

That's a detailed, thorough investigation of payables, receivables - all the intricate pieces of the business side of the organization.

"They are working through that process now," McFarlen explains, "We of course are concerned. We wish the board of directors at Habitat all the success in coming to a good resolution with this."

So, will United Way continue to fund Habitat of Limestone County? McFarlen says that depends on a few things. She says all United Way agencies have received allocation packages to request funds for programs and services. McFalren says those completed packages have to meet a deadline and that part of that evaluation process will include what if any safeguards have been put in place to avoid an investigation of this type in the future.

"We really support what Habitat for Humanity does for our community. We hope there is a good resolution with this and then to that end, we will consider what we need to do based on those outcomes," says McFarlen.

No one has yet been charged with a crime according to Athens Police.

This is the second time this week police have disclosed they are investigating thefts by former employees. The first involved the Athens-Limestone Public Library.