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Humane Society board confronts Marion chief’s allegations: Board says it “supports fully all of our employees and volunteers”

In Humane Society on June 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm

The board of directors of the Cedar Valley Humane Society on Friday said it heard Marion Police Chief Harry Daugherty earlier this week and now wanted to respond.

Daugherty on Tuesday reported that the Marion Police Department was recommending that the Linn County Attorney file felony theft charges against the person at the Humane Society’s animal shelter responsible for handling billing.

The chief did not name a suspect, but did say, “Somebody down there has to be responsible.”

Linn County Attorney Harold Denton is now reviewing the Marion Police Department’s recommendation.

On Friday, the Humane Society board, through attorney Mark Brown of Cedar Rapids, said that the board “supports fully” all of its employees and volunteers. The board further said that it has and will cooperate with the Marion Police Department investigation and hoped that it would come to a “just” result.

The Marion police raided the shelter, at 7411 Mount Vernon Rd., and seized billing records after a preliminary investigation and a former shelter employee raised questions about the shelter’s billing practices.

On Tuesday, Daugherty said his investigators recommended that a first-degree theft charge be filed in the matter, a severity of crime that requires the theft of more than $10,000.

Daugherty said his investigators looked at the animal shelter’s billing records from 2006, 2007 and 2008.

By way of example, Daugherty said one allegation is that the shelter billed the city of Marion after picking a stray animal up in Marion even though the owner came to the shelter and paid the fee.

The Humane Society animal shelter is different than the city of Cedar Rapids’ animal shelter. The Humane Society’s facility serves the Linn County area outside of Cedar Rapids, although the city of Marion, for now, is using the city of Cedar Rapids’ services.

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