Rimrock Trails official formally charged, more arrests expected
- Bill Sheehy
- Central Oregonian - News
>According to testimony, the Rimrock Trails business manager used the center's credit card to pay her own bills and may not be the only arrest made in the caseA grand jury formally brought a handful of charges against the former business manager of Rimrock Trails, the residential adolescent substance treatment facility in Prineville.
Earlier this month, after an extensive investigation, local police arrested Mary Ann Leon, 42, on charges of aggravated theft in the loss of about $13,000 from Rimrock Trails. Late last week, after hearing testimony from a variety of sources, the grand jury officially charged Leon with one count of aggravated theft in the first degree and four additional counts of first degree theft.
Originally it was claimed that Leon, who had been the business manager for the center for seven years, had taken about $13,000. Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown said that figure is now more than $15,000 and "there are still things coming in."
According to testimony presented to the grand jury, the alleged thefts were over a two-year period. "There were a lot of different types of theft," Brown explained. Leon is believed to have used the center's credit card to pay her residential electric bill and pay for the cell phone.
"Basically," Brown said, "she, and possibly others in the office, used the center's Visa cards to buy a wide range of personal items."
Apparently, a large amount of the missing funds went to the overpayment of vacation and other benefits. Testimony indicated that Leon altered employee records, adding an extra year onto her work history. A CPA has calculated that cost the facility several thousand dollars, Brown said.
In at least one incident, when parents paid for their child's expenses with cash, that cash disappeared. "Those irregularities," Brown added, "were traced back to her."
Brown would not elaborate, but did say that the investigation is continuing and that more charges and possibly even other arrests may be forthcoming. "It is not clear whether (Leon)s boss, Ken) Dalton committed any criminal acts. It is pretty clear, however, that he was playing pretty fast and loose with her."
That, he went on to say, is why the board of directors is looking for a new executive director and "developing new procedures and policies so this can't happen again."
When the report of Leon's arrest was first made, Tim McKee, Program Manager for Rimrock Trails, said with assurance that Rimrock Trails is still in good shape. He was very clear about wanting people to know the alleged crime will have no impact on the service the center offers.
Leon had been lodged at the county jail following her arrest and freed under a release agreement. She is scheduled to return to circuit court on Dec. 5.