Richmond police are investigating a city employee who allegedly stole about $200,000 from the South Arm Community Association during the past five years.
The employee was initially suspended, then fired, after an internal investigation last September found "irregularities" in the organization's accounting, said Ted Townsend, spokesman for the City of Richmond.
"Yes, it's unfortunate that you can have lots of checks and balances in place, but eventually trust is part of your system and sometimes that trust gets betrayed," Townsend said.
Coun. Linda Barnes, the city's representative with South Arm Community Association, said the employee held a senior position at the association, but it is unknown how or when money went missing.
"It's possible that a little bit here and a little bit there did not affect the operating budget and [the alleged thief] was able to operate under the radar," she said.
No charges have yet been laid, but Richmond RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Sherrdean Turley confirmed an investigation is continuing.
The association, which Townsend said has an annual operating budget of more than a million dollars, runs the South Arm Community Centre across from Hugh McRoberts secondary school in a joint partnership with the city.
Run by a board of directors, it is directly responsible for a large number of employees who operate the regular programming and events at the community centre, Barnes said.
"You consider that these people are in a position of trust, they're usually people who are within the community, they take part in community events, they work side by side with the people of the community," she said. "So it's unusual for this to happen, but obviously not unheard of."
Last week, Richmond resident Debbie Judd was sentenced to two years in prison after stealing more than $200,000 from the Richmond Youth Soccer Association while serving as its treasurer between 1998 and 2003.
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