The Abbotsford Police Board’s former director of its finance and budget branch is being sued for allegedly misappropriating $192,000 in funds.
The police board and the City of Abbotsford filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court against Shelley Dallas Mickens, alleging she used the money to acquire and maintain her Abbotsford residence.
The police board manages the funds for the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).
The claim alleges that Mickens, who was in her role from April 1999 to June 2016, acquired the funds by preparing petty cash vouchers that contained “false and misleading information,” making misleading entries in the accounting record-keeping system and under-reporting cash payments.
“The board reposed trust in Ms. Mickens and was vulnerable to her,” the court documents state.
The documents indicate that the discrepancies were discovered after Mickens retired in June 2016.
Her successor, Randy Millard, took over in October, and a member of the finance and budget branch asked him to review some cash disbursements that were suspicious.
According to the notice of civil claim, Millard discovered several suspicious entries between February 2013 and April 2016, but he was not certain that Mickens had misappropriated the funds.
He believed she would be able to provide a “legitimate explanation” for the discrepancies, but, despite numerous attempts to obtain one, Mickens has never provided an explanation to the APD, according to the notice of civil claim.
Mickens resigned in December from her volunteer position as a director of the Abbotsford Police Foundation.
The lawsuit is seeking the return of $192,200, and Const. Ian MacDonald said the APD also asked the RCMP to investigate the matter to determine whether Mickens should be charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
“We recognized that we have a responsibility to safeguard taxpayers’ dollars. That’s why we … have been very proactive in terms of the civil lawsuit and in terms of the request to have the RCMP take a look to see if there’s anything criminal in nature,” MacDonald said.
Mickens has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, nor have any of the allegations been proven in court.