BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Taxpayer funds converted to personal use by a public official.
From 2012-2015, Rhonda Walker embezzled funds from the Raleigh County Commission while serving as the Director of the Raleigh County Recreation Authority.
“Ms. Walker would utilize the payroll checks that she had at her disposal to essentially give herself raises,” said Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Hatfield. “Pay herself for vacation time that she didn’t take.”
Walker was indicted in 2019 after unauthorized checks were discovered during an audit. She embezzled a total of $18,536.11.
“These are funds that taxpayers pay their hard earned money to the government,” Hatfield said. “[They] entrust the government officials to use.”
In Raleigh County court, Walker pleaded guilty to a felony charge of embezzlement.
“Do you mean by saying that word, to offer a plea of guilty to the indictment?” asked Raleigh County Judge Robert Burnside,
“Yes,” Walker replied.
Despite Walker pleading guilty, Hatfield says the hearing wasn’t necessarily a plea bargain.
“She pled to the entirety of the indictment as is and there’s no agreement as to sentencing,” Hatfield said.
Walker will be sentenced on July 22n and faces 1-10 years in prison.