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Barbara Worrell arrested on 13 felony counts

Former Colonial Beach schools Chief Financial Officer charged with misappropriating funds

Barbara  M. Worrell, former Chief Financial Officer of Colonial Beach Schools and former acting superintendent (Aug. 2, 2008, through May 27, 2009), was arrested in Westmoreland County Monday evening, March 15, at approximately 6:30 p.m.  She was charged with 13 felony counts of misappropriation of funds.  Bail has been denied and she is scheduled to be arraigned in Westmoreland County Circuit Court this morning.

Her arrest stems from an ongoing investigation originally initiated by Tim Trivett, current chairman of the School Board after accounting irregularities came to light during an audit of town finances performed by Nancy Miller, a Fredericksburg accountant. The audit showed “significant deficiencies” primarily found in school financial records. Worrell was placed on administrative leave in May 2009 after the Westmoreland Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office announced a second investigation of school finances by the Virginia State Police.

The investigation seemed to be going nowhere until an early morning raid at Worrell’s Colonial Beach home this past Wednesday, March 10.  According to an affidavit filed by Virginia State Police Special Agent Belinda Glover, the investigators were “seeking written or electronic school financial records relating to an embezzlement during 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.”  The records involved in the search also included personal financial records, bank accounts, check books and tax returns.  Also authorized was the seizure of data storage devices found in Worrell’s home. 

Colonial Beach schools have been found to owe the town more than $600,000 in budget deficits throughout Worrell’s tenure as both Financial Director and acting superintendent.

~ Kathy Flanagan

 

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