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Spencer Jaycees missing money; SBI looks into possible embezzlement case

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó The State Bureau of Investigation confirmed Thursday allegations of embezzlement from the Spencer Jaycees.
A spokeswoman for the SBI said the department is investigating the allegations, but would confirm little else.
“I can let you know an investigation is taking place and is ongoing,” said Jennifer Canada, the SBI spokeswoman. “We’re very limited as to what we can say about an ongoing investigation.”
She said the SBI was asked by the Rowan County District Attorney’s office and Spencer police to investigate the allegations. Canada said the results of the investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney’s office, but said she had no idea when that might be.
Canada wouldn’t confirm any names rumored to be linked to the investigation. Karen Biernacki, an assistant Rowan County district attorney, said she didn’t know anything of the allegations of embezzlement.
“I’d have to plead ignorance on this one,” she said.
She said Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly is out of the office until Monday. He didn’t return phone calls to his home and cell phone Thursday.
Spencer Police Chief Robert Bennett said his department looked into the matter, but quickly decided to turn the investigation over to the SBI.
“Some things came up,” he said. “We didn’t feel we had the resources to investigate.”
Bennett said he didn’t feel it appropriate for him to say much about an SBI investigation.
“We turned everything over to them and let them run with it,” he said. “What they do is entirely up to them. We don’t have any input.”
Kevin Hall, president of the Spencer Jaycees, also had little to say.
“Our stand is, as long as there’s an investigation going on, we don’t want to comment,” he said.
Rumors of allegations of embezzlement from the Jaycees have swirled around Spencer for months, and have increased in intensity since the organization’s clubhouse went up in flames in early March. The building was empty at the time of the fire.
Fire officials never discovered a cause for the blaze but said at the time they didn’t think arson was involved. Jaycee officials have said the building wasn’t fully insured, and said they’re working to come up with a series of fundraisers to generate cash for its replacement.

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