Former Bono official makes first court appearance in theft case

BONO, AR (KAIT) - Glenn Dola McGinnis, treasurer of the Bono Fire Protection District, has been arrested on suspicion of theft of $25,000 or more.

McGinnis's arrest comes just days after Bono city officials discovered a "substantial amount" of money missing from the fire department's bank account. They immediately contacted the sheriff's office which began an investigation.

McGinnis appeared in Craighead County District Court where a judge found probable cause to charge her with 2 counts of theft greater than $25,000 and 185 counts of forgery. McGinnis is currently out of jail on a temporary bond. She'll appear in court again on June 29.

McGinnis declined an interview with Region 8 News when a reporter approached her after the probable cause hearing.

Region 8 News spoke with Sheriff Marty Boyd Thursday about the arrest. He said the investigation is ongoing and will take some time.

The investigation, according to Boyd, involves records dating back to 2010.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Region 8 News, Bono Fire Chief Trent Edwards discovered several checks that had been written to cash and several others written to Glenn McGinnis.

During an interview with investigators, McGinnis admitted that she'd been taking money for a number of years. She said, according to the probable cause affidavit, that she had signed the chief's name and used the money for personal use.

She also said that she'd "made numerous personal purchases at Walmart and Office Max using the fire department's checks."

Investigators found 185 checks written to McGinnis with forged signatures. It totaled more than $25,000.

Sheriff Boyd said the case could involve more than $100,000.

"It's always disheartening to learn in any business, regardless of what type of business it is, when someone steals or embezzles," Boyd said. "In the end, the person was found. She was charged, arrested and will now have to pay the consequences."

The city of Bono has yearly audits, but the fire department is under county jurisdiction, where yearly audits are not required.

Bono Mayor Danny Shaw said if they had the same checks and balances as cities do, the situation may have been stopped a long time ago.

"I've spoken with the county judge, with Senator Cooper, with some of the quorum court members about looking at doing this so that it can prevent these kinds of things," Shaw said. "From what I understand this situation has been going on maybe as far back as 2010, and this could have been stopped in its tracks at that point had there been an audit done."

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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