A local non-profit organization dedicated to children is hit in the pocketbook from within.
A former Voices For Children employee voluntarily surrendered to police Friday after allegedly stealing nearly $70,000 from the agency.
Connie Cadenhead, 54, is accused of using a company credit card for personal use.
Cadenhead told police that for the past two years, she used the money to make car payments, pay cell phone bills, utility and cable bills. She also used the credit card at retail stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, grocery stores and nail salons, according to police reports.
According to Cadenhead, the Visa card had a $3,000 limit, so she would use the Voices For Children checking account to pay off the card's balance and then continue to make unauthorized purchases with it, according to police reports. The College Station woman admitted to altering bank statements to conceal her activity.
In all, police estimate Cadenhead took more than $68,000 since April 2006. Executive Director for Voices For Children Liana Lowey discovered financial inconsistencies in March 2008 and contacted police.
"The organization does so much good for kids and to have someone affecting that or taking away from that, it's just not something anyone was expecting," said Lowey.
Lowey said while they had safety measures in place, the agency has changed office procedures to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.
"I'm afraid this is a case where our trust in a long-time former employee was betrayed. I am, however, confident that Voices For Children will be stronger than before once this matter is concluded," Voices For Children Board President Charles Bankston said.
Cadenhead was hired as an administrative assistant in May 2004 and was fired in March of this year.
A quick search of her criminal record shows several theft convictions dating back to 1989.
Voices For Children has been operating since 2001. Its mission is to advocate in court for the best interest of abused and neglected children who are in the state's care, helping to find safe and permanent homes and ensuring that each child's needs are addressed and fully met.
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