Kurt Lemley appeared in Carter County District Court Friday to face charges he embezzled more $8,600 while serving as HFV Wilson Community Center executive director.
Six counts of embezzlement were filed against Lemley by First Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper. The charges allege he embezzled various amounts from the center between February, 2012 and April, 2013. The charge accuse the 54-year-old former executive director of diverting the funds from a credit card and a Pay Pal account for personal use.
Friday Lemley appeared before Special District Judge Thomas Baldwin who scheduled a preliminary conference for 9 a.m. Nov. 26. The conference will determine if Lemley will seek his right to a preliminary hearing. In the meantime Lemley, who lists a current address in Nocona, Texas, was released on a personal recognizance bond pending the outcome of the case.
Lemley, who served in the center's lead position for 2 1/2 years was suspended Aug. 14. He was terminated six days later. City Manager J.D. Spohn told The Ardmoreite Sept. 2 the Ardmore Police Department was investigating allegations Lemley had embezzled funds from the center.
"All of our department heads have a city credit card and they have to turn in receipts,": Spohn said. "He (Lemley) just manipulated the system ... We caught it very quickly."
At the time Spohn described the former executive director as a supervisor," ... we trusted to provide the checks and balances ...."
The felony charges were filed based on the police investigation, led by Detective Larry Payne.
If convicted of all six charges in addition to being ordered to pay restitution Lemley could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.