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Kane County Treasurer resigns over alleged embezzlement

Kane County Treasurer resigns over alleged embezzlement (Photo: DJ Bolerjack / KUTV)
Kane County Treasurer resigns over alleged embezzlement (Photo: DJ Bolerjack / KUTV)
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(KUTV) Kane County Treasurer, Georgia Baca, is under investigation for allegedly embezzling over $90,000 of Kane County tax payer money.

The Utah State Auditor sent out a report Monday alleging Baca been stealing money for personal use for three years.

Kane County officials said that this incident could not have come at a worse time because taxes have been reduced twice in the last five years.

"Something like this is completely shocking," said Dirk Clayson, Kane County Commissioner/Chairman. Clayson knew Baca well while she was in office. It is something he and many employees are still wrapping their heads around.

"[It's] something that we never expected for somebody with the amount of public trust that the treasurer has." Clayson said.

County officials believe that Baca took took $34,600 and transferred it into her personal accounts, $56,182 cash that is still unaccounted for and $1,612 transferred to her Verizon Wireless web account.

TOTAL: $92,394.67

Utah State Auditor, John Dougall said the alleged from 2013 to 2016.

"We take the misuse and theft of public funds very seriously," Dougall said.

He said improper use and transfer of funds was noticed three weeks ago by someone at a bank.

"If it hadn't been for the conscientious employee, I'm not sure how long this might have happened."

When the bank found the issue, it alerted Kane County Commissioners and that is when Clayson said it asked for the Sheriff's assistance.

Dougall said the report shows that many of the cash withdrawals from public accounts were individual, small amounts. In this situation, only Baca was in charge of the money coming in and going out.

"A problem when there is nobody else involved and there's no separation of duties," Dougall said.

Clayson explained Monday that the commissioners gave Baca a chance to explain her actions in the recent commissioner meeting but instead she turned in her letter of resignation.

"The issue is to move forward to try to design things in our system that would prevent this type of thing from occurring," Clayson said.

Since this is a county issue, Dougall said it's likely that a neighboring county, like Washington County, will handle the prosecution.

Kane County Sheriff's Department said no arrests have been made.

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