Steamboat Springs police expect to file felony theft charges against Shelly Flannery, the former executive director of Routt County Habitat for Humanity, as early as the end of the week.
Detective Jerry Stabile, who is leading the investigation for the Steamboat Springs Police Department, said he is awaiting the results of a final audit before filing the paperwork with the District Attorney's Office. However, Stabile said there is little doubt in his mind that Flannery stole from the nonprofit organization she was hired to lead.
"It was pretty straightforward that she was stealing from that particular organization," he said.
Stabile said the amount of money allegedly stolen by Flannery is almost certain to exceed the $20,000 minimum for a Class 3 felony. The total amount probably is closer to the $70,000 reported missing by local Habitat for Humanity board president Jeffery Weeden, Stabile said.
Flannery declined to comment on the case and referred all questions to her attorney, Steamboat-based Cheryl Hardy-Moore.
Flannery "has been fully cooperative with investigating authorities," Hardy-Moore said. "The case remains under investigation : and dialogue between the investigator and myself, as her attorney, is ongoing."
The investigation into Flannery's alleged embezzlement began after authorities in Rio Blanco County announced she was under investigation for an alleged theft from a previous employer, the Rio Blanco County Historical Society. Flannery is accused of stealing about $7,000 from the historical society.
After learning about the Rio Blanco County allegations against Flannery, Weeden examined Habitat for Humanity's bank records and discovered about $70,000 in missing funds, he said.
Weeden previously has said Flannery did not have signatory power on the group's bank account. Police did not comment on how the money allegedly was stolen.
Stabile said he has been working with Rio Blanco County investigators but that their investigation has been hampered because the detective in charge of the case for the Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Department moved to a new job. Meeker police also are working on the case.
The Rio Blanco County allegations against Flannery were announced Sept. 11. Flannery was confronted the next day about the money missing from Habitat for Humanity's bank account and was immediately removed from her position as executive director.
The following Monday, Sept. 15, Tommi Lynn Weeden, wife of Jeffery, was appointed interim executive director. Tommi Weeden has a six-month agreement with the Habitat board, she said, and she is attempting to get the organization back on track financially before her tenure ends.
"I think by then we'll have things pretty well in place as far as long-term structure for this position," she said. "Our affiliate is business as usual. We have two families we're working to place in homes by the end of this month."
Jeffery Weeden said construction of a new duplex in West End Village is on schedule and likely will be completed by the end of October.
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