Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 14, 2013

Ex-Pineville official admits stealing public funds from town, McDowell County agency

Associated Press

BECKLEY —  A former Pineville official faces up to 10 years in prison after she admitted stealing more than $80,000 in public funds.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says 30-year-old Brandee Denise Phillips-Ellis pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal theft charge.

Goodwin says Phillips-Ellis tookl more than $44,00 from the Town of Pineville and $36,380 from SAFE Housing Economic Development Inc. in McDowell County.

Phillips-Ellis formerly was Pineville’s city manager and recorder, and had worked part time for the housing agency.

Goodwin says Phillips-Ellis by falsified documents to receive payments as a vendor from the housing agency that she wasn’t entitled to receive.

He says she used some of the Pineville funds to pay her husband’s personal credit card bills and to buy a car.

Sentencing is set for June 25.