Former Bluefield CFO accused of stealing money from city - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Former Bluefield CFO accused of stealing money from city

Posted:
  • More Local NewsMore Local NewsMore>>

  • Severe Weather Threatens the Two Virginias

    Severe Weather Threatens the Two Virginias

    (WVVA)- A low pressure system will be passing us to our north on Sunday, bringing with it the potential for dangerous weather.This weather scenario is very complex, and it looks like we could be...More >>
    (WVVA)- A low pressure system will be passing us to our north on Sunday, bringing with it the potential for dangerous weather.This weather scenario is very complex, and it looks like we could be...More >>
  • Picnic with the Saints sold out

    Picnic with the Saints sold out

    White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. (WVVA) -A special picnic in White Sulphur Springs with the NFL team New Orleans Saints has sold out. The event is scheduled for tomorrow at the Greenbrier Resort. More >>
    White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. (WVVA) -A special picnic in White Sulphur Springs with the NFL team New Orleans Saints has sold out. The event is scheduled for tomorrow at the Greenbrier Resort. More >>

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - A former chief financial officer of the City of Bluefield has been accused of stealing approximately $5,000 from the city.

City attorney Brian Cochran confirmed the allegations against Claude Crigger to WVVA News following a special-called meeting of the city's Board of Directors Tuesday morning.

Cochran says the West Virginia State Police were contacted by city officials after information was received regarding the possibility of embezzlement.

On Dec. 14, the State Police informed City Manager Jim Ferguson that their investigation concluded that the former CFO had illegally converted city finances for his own personal use.

The case has been turned over to Mercer County Prosecutor Scott Ash.

Crigger had resigned his position with the city in November, following a meeting with Cochran, Ferguson and Mayor Linda Whalen regarding penalties levied by the Internal Revenue Service against three city bank accounts.

The penalties were associated with late payments and filings of employee payroll taxes

It was during the investigation into these penalties that information was learned of the possible embezzlement.

WVVA's Stephanie Crace was at city hall Tuesday and will have more on these developments this evening on WVVA News at 5 and 6.

Following is the full news release from Cochran on the situation:

On Thursday, November 15, 2012, it was brought to the City Administration's attention that the Internal Revenue Service had levied three City bank accounts for penalties associated with late payments and filings of employee payroll taxes.  On Friday morning, November 16th, City Manager Jim Ferguson, Mayor Linda Whalen, and I met to review the IRS tax levy and we also communicated with the IRS to investigate this situation further. 

On Monday, November 19, 2012, the City Manager and I met with the City's Chief Financial Officer.  As a result of this meeting, the CFO submitted his resignation, effective immediately.  During this meeting, it was discovered that in April 2012, the CFO had received previous notice from the IRS that the City would incur this penalty and that the CFO failed to disclose this information to anyone in the City Administration.  Although the failure to disclose this important information resulted in the City's inability to exercise any possible appeal procedures, the City is currently and actively seeking relief from these penalties of approximately $14,000.00. 

In connection with investigating the IRS issue, the City received additional information of possible theft of City money.  Once this information was confirmed, the City immediately contacted the West Virginia State Police and requested an investigation be conducted as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.  On Wednesday, December 14, 2012, the West Virginia State Police contacted Mr. Ferguson and informed him that they have determined through their investigation, which included an interview with the former CFO, that the former CFO had illegally converted City finances for his own personal use.  The City is continuing to review all of its accounts and finances, and at this time, it appears that approximately $5,000.00 in cash has been embezzled.  The City has contacted Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash concerning this situation.  The results of the State Police investigation, as well as any additional information uncovered by further financial auditing of the City's accounts, will be promptly presented to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for further action.

The City is deeply troubled by the former CFO's breach of his fiduciary duty and trust to the citizens of Bluefield.  Unfortunately, crimes such as this are not easily detectable while they are occurring, even with numerous checks and balances in place to deter this type of conduct.  However, City Manager Jim Ferguson and Mayor Linda Whalen took immediate and aggressive action in response to these initial allegations.

I believe Mayor Whalen and Jim Ferguson should be commended for their integrity and professionalism for their prompt and aggressive actions taken in response to this isolated circumstance.  A thorough review of the City's system of checks and balances will be completed in the City's continuing efforts to prevent any future incidences of this type of misconduct.  

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Expect traffic delays as repairs are made in wake of tunnel fire

    Expect traffic delays as repairs are made in wake of tunnel fire

    NEWS RELEASE -Periodic lane closures are being scheduled for the coming weeks as repairs continue following the Friday afternoon tractor-trailer fire inside I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel...More >>
    NEWS RELEASE -Periodic lane closures are being scheduled for the coming weeks as repairs continue following the Friday afternoon tractor-trailer fire inside I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel...More >>
  • Businesses in Bluefield West Virginia

    Businesses in Bluefield West Virginia

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A couple of fast food chains in Bluefield,West Virginia are no longer on Cumberland Ave. Wendy's closed for financial reasonsand according to Mark Meachum, President of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, "Arby's as you're aware, the franchisee claimed bankruptcy in a number of Arbys."Not all businesses in Bluefield are having a hard time.Ahmed Anu the owner of Portobella's says, "Just right now I think to myself, business is good. We did good."His Italian restaurant has been...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A couple of fast food chains in Bluefield,West Virginia are no longer on Cumberland Ave. Wendy's closed for financial reasonsand according to Mark Meachum, President of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, "Arby's as you're aware, the franchisee claimed bankruptcy in a number of Arbys."Not all businesses in Bluefield are having a hard time.Ahmed Anu the owner of Portobella's says, "Just right now I think to myself, business is good. We did good."His Italian restaurant has been...More >>
  • Police look for missing man

    Police look for missing man

    William "NIck" DanielWilliam "NIck" Daniel
    RALEIGH CO. (WVVA) – Police in Beckley are looking for a man who went missing last week.William “Nick” Daniel, 26, was last seen July 24...More >>
    RALEIGH CO. (WVVA) – Police in Beckley are looking for a man who went missing last week.William “Nick” Daniel, 26, was last seen July 24...More >>
  • Couple stops robbery suspect in his tracks

    Couple stops robbery suspect in his tracks

    Beckley, W Va (WVVA) - A husband and wife are able to stop a robbery suspect in his tracks...More >>
    Beckley, W Va (WVVA) - A husband and wife are able to stop a robbery suspect in his tracks...More >>
  • List of 2014 School Start Dates

    List of 2014 School Start Dates

    WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESFayette County: August 13Greenbrier County: August 18McDowell County: August 18Mercer County: August 7Monroe County: August 18Raleigh County: August 20Summers County: August 13Wyoming County: August 21VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESBland County: August 15Giles County: September 2Tazewell County: August 21Wythe County: August 13More >>
    WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESFayette County: August 13Greenbrier County: August 18McDowell County: August 18Mercer County: August 7Monroe County: August 18Raleigh County: August 20Summers County: August 13Wyoming County: August 21VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESBland County: August 15Giles County: September 2Tazewell County: August 21Wythe County: August 13More >>
  • Police search for robbery suspect

    Police search for robbery suspect

    Fairlea (WVVA) – Police are on the lookout for a man suspected of robbing a video lottery parlor.The robbery happened Sunday night at Abbies around 11:30 p.m. in Fairlea...More >>
    Fairlea (WVVA) – Police are on the lookout for a man suspected of robbing a video lottery parlor.The robbery happened Sunday night at Abbies around 11:30 p.m. in Fairlea...More >>
  • Burglary suspect enters plea

    Burglary suspect enters plea

    Raleigh County (WVVA) –A man charged with burglarizing a home pleads guilty in court. Jason Pittman faces up to 15 years in prison.More >>
    Raleigh County (WVVA) –A man charged with burglarizing a home pleads guilty in court. Jason Pittman faces up to 15 years in prison.More >>
  • Water company to give educational plant tours

    Water company to give educational plant tours

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A water company whose Charleston treatment plant was contaminated by a coal-cleaning agent in January is holding a public tour next week.West Virginia American Water Co. will conduct the free "WaterFest" event Aug. 9.Spokeswoman Laura Jordan tells the Charleston Daily Mail it's the first time the company will hold such an event in Charleston.It will include plant tours, educational demonstrations and recreational activities for children. The event is designed to info...More >>
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A water company whose Charleston treatment plant was contaminated by a coal-cleaning agent in January is holding a public tour next week.West Virginia American Water Co. will conduct the free "WaterFest" event Aug. 9.Spokeswoman Laura Jordan tells the Charleston Daily Mail it's the first time the company will hold such an event in Charleston.It will include plant tours, educational demonstrations and recreational activities for children. The event is designed to info...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.