Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 19, 2013

Derrick Days committee discusses embezzlement

Corsicana — The Derrick Days committee met Tuesday, one day after discovering that the festival’s bank account had been drained by an embezzler.

Her voice breaking, Chairman Fran Townes opened the meeting by saying “All the funds are gone. We just have to figure out how to go on.”

For now, the committee is working in emergency mode. Derrick Days will happen on April 27, she said.

Police are looking at the now-former manager of a local storage company in connection with the loss of at least $10,000 from the festival fund. That person had volunteered the company’s office for a temporary Derrick Days headquarters. The festival had even installed a dedicted Derrick Days phone line.

The new office will be at the Chamber of Commerce, and the dedicted phone line at the storage company will be cut off, Townes said.

The new number will be (903) 493-7205.

On Tuesday, Chris Martin, owner of the storage company where the chief suspect was a former manager, gave a copy of all the festival’s electronic records to Townes. All the paper records were seized by police.

Police Chief Randy Bratton commended Townes, Festial Secretary Andy Williams, and Martin for their cooperation and helpfulness in the investigation.

“Fran and Andy are not suspects, just to clear the air,” Bratton said.

—————

We’ll post more on this meeting later today and in the Wednesday print edition of the Daily Sun.

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