WRAL Investigates

Ex-bookkeeper charged with stealing from Garner fire department

Posted October 27, 2010

— A former employee of the Garner Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was arrested Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of nearly $400,000 from the department, authorities said.

Amy McKinley Moore, 43, of 6821 Stevens Oaks Drive in Garner, was charged with obtaining property by false pretense and larceny by employee in excess of $100,000. She was released after posting a $50,000 bond.

Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice, said the obtaining property by false pretense charge involved $393,000. A State Bureau of Investigation probe found that Moore wrote hundreds of checks to herself over a seven-year period.

Fire department officials informed Garner town leaders in January of the missing money, which was uncovered during an outside audit of the department's books from July 2008 to June 2009.

When the SBI was called to investigate shortly after that, Moore abruptly resigned.

Moore worked for the department for a decade as the administrative assistant who handled the fire department's books. Her husband, David Moore, is a detective with the Raleigh Police Department.

Although the majority of the fire department's funding comes from Garner and Wake County, the department is operated as a nonprofit organization and run by an independent board of directors.

Steve Woodall, president of the Garner fire department's board, said in March that the department has taken steps to shore up its internal controls over its finances.

The board now looks at all canceled checks at each monthly meeting, and Garner's mayor pro tempore also sits in on the meetings, Woodall said. Bookkeeping for the department was turned over to the outside company that conducted the annual audits, and a new internal auditor was brought in, he said.

Garner Town Manager Hardin Watkins said the fire department has made progress in working with the town in recent months to ensure accountability and transparency and provide residents with the most effective and efficient services possible.

Under the terms of the fire department's new contract with Garner, the town will appoint three members of the department’s six-member board. The board also will make quarterly reports to the Town Council and conduct more frequent audits.

“I’m impressed with the department’s new openness and new willingness to be accountable,” Watkins said in a statement issued late Wednesday.

103 Comments

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  • jsc82469 Nov 1, 9:14 a.m.

    When my son was 5yrs old, he began playing baseball for GBI, Inc (Garner Baseball). Her husband David was to be the coach but his working shifts changed with RPD so Amy took over coaching. I should have known that when I had to track her down for our kids trophies at the end of the year (2mos after the season ended) something wasn't right. And years later when I donated free skating passes to the GVFD, low and behold she was the one taking the donations. Hmmmm, never saw much of her before I donated those skating passes, but she soon became a regular at the 'rink' - I wonder if she ever passed those tickets out to the families that attended the Fireman's Day cookout and games that night - that's what the passes were intended for.....$700 worth of free passes....

  • Go Figure Oct 29, 1:55 p.m.

    she probably thought she could get away with it seeing her HUBS is in the police dept, you know the ole "protection" thing. Shame on her....

  • gswalker51 Oct 28, 5:06 p.m.

    Looks like another case of Wake County fake-it-til-you-make-it or do-it-til-you-get caught. Whatever it takes to keep the family in SUVs and boats I guess. Man, I'm really starting to regret moving back here 9 years ago. Much less stupidity and corruption in the DC area.

  • White Devil Oct 28, 4:23 p.m.

    Ooops, I see it was seven years, not 10. Wow, so that increases the average to about $55K a year -- all tax free!

  • White Devil Oct 28, 4:14 p.m.

    One can only hope the IRS gets involved in this case. For 10 years this family averaged more than $35k extra income per year from the wife's illegal activities. I'm going to guess that extra money wasn't claimed on their returns (after all the husband "allegedly" didn't know this was going on). So, those tax filings were fraudulent. Seize it all! The house, the boat, the Hummer, Lexus, Cadi, Mustang. They do it to all the time to drug dealers, corrupt politicians, fraudulent businessmen, etc. This case shouldn't be any different.

  • Go Figure Oct 28, 3:30 p.m.

    bet her daughter gets mad when they confiscated her Lexus...

  • wa4mjf Oct 28, 3:27 p.m.

    Likad, she did not work for the guvment, she worked for GVFD, Inc.

  • waketaxpayertoo Oct 28, 3:20 p.m.

    If this story is correct and the money was taken by the bookkeeper writing herself checks, there must have been a serious lack of oversight. All it would take for her to be found out would be for someone... anyone to look over the bank statements. A copy of every check written is provided every month. In 10 years, you would think someone would have done that. When taxpayer money is involved there is duty to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Expecting that someone will at least look over bank statements isn't really asking a lot.
    If there was an independent auditor, it doesn't seem to me they did their job well. If the auditors weren't doing what they were paid to do, they should have to answer for that. It would seem the fire dept heavily(I would argue, too heavily) relied on their audits.
    Embezzlement happens every day, folks, do NOT blindly trust on your bookkeeper.

  • Lickad Oct 28, 3:20 p.m.

    She is no different from other government employees, she just got caught and did not have the right friends for a coverup.

    Government employees are constantly stealing.

  • Go Figure Oct 28, 3:12 p.m.

    betcha she posted bail with STOLEN money. Its time to freeze somebody's banking accts.

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