Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 3, 2013

Former Tazewell County school official indicted on 15 counts of embezzlement

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — A Tazewell County woman has been charged with multiple counts of embezzlement and money laundering following an investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville field office.

Wille Kathy Hicks, also known as Kathy Keene, 53, of North Tazewell, was indicted Oct. 2 by a Tazewell County grand jury on 15 counts of embezzlement by a public officer and one count of money laundering, according to a press release issued today by the  Virginia State Police.

Hicks was an employee with the school system during the time of the alleged fraud.

Since at least 2006, Hick is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars per year in funds intended for the school and school-related events, the press release said.

The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

School officials in Tazewell County also confirmed this afternoon that an investigation is underway into missing money from Tazewell Middle School.

“Upon notification of the potential irregularities in Tazewell Middle School’s accounting for school activity funds, and suspected missing monies, (former School Superintendent) Dr. Brenda Lawson notified members of the Tazewell County School Board,” School Superintendent Dr. Michaelene Meyer said. “The school board took immediate action in this matter by informing and turning over the investigation to appropriate authorities.  At this time, the division has no further comment to make regarding this matter.”

Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Lee is expected to address the matter during a scheduled press conference today in Cedar Bluff.