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LV Chamber probes possible missing funds
LA VERNIA -- Following the abrupt closure of Patsy Ritchey’s Farmers Insurance office on U.S. 87 here, the Greater La Vernia Chamber of Commerce has decided to examine its own finances. Ritchey, in addition to being an insurance agent, was the chamber’s treasurer for the past 3-1/2 years. This prompted an emergency meeting of the organization’s board April 22.
The meeting, which took place after the Wilson County News’ press time, was to determine the chamber’s next step. Chamber Vice President Elaine Mazurek Stephens said that there’s at least a $10,000 difference between the organization’s books and the most recent treasurer’s report.
Stephens said the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation into alleged misapplied funds at Ritchey’s insurance agency. Officials from Farmers Insurance shut down the office over the weekend and a sign on the door directs customers to make payments at other Farmers offices.
Chamber members also have informed Chief Bruce Ritchey of the La Vernia Police Department about the situation. The chief, who is of no familial relation to the accused, said no formal charges had been filed. The board is working with its bank and an auditor to determine the extent of the situation.
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