Washtenaw County employee charged with embezzling more than $100,000
A Washtenaw County employee accused of embezzling at least $100,000 from Community Mental Health over a 16-year period is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing next week.
Debra Ann Ross was arraigned last month on a charge of embezzling $100,000 or more, records show.
Her attorney, Michael Vincent, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
It's unclear whether Ross still works for the county and what positions she held that gave her access to money.Â Diane Heidt, the county's human resources director, didn't return calls Monday and Tuesday seeking comment.
Ross, a county employee for more than 20 years, worked in Community Mental Health for at least four years, Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said.
She was authorized to cash checks written for CMH services, said Derrick Jackson, the sheriff department's director of community engagement.
The alleged embezzlement began when Ross accepted another position with the county about 16 years ago, Jackson said.
After she began working in that position, she continued to collect checks being written to CMH to pay for services for one of its clients, Jackson said. The client's attorney was writing the checks, which Ross deposited into a personal bank account, Jackson said. The money should have gone into a county bank account, he said.
The investigation began after a recent audit, Jackson said.
Jackson said he didn't know how many checks were written, why it took so long to discover the alleged embezzlement and how Ross spent the money. No other arrests are anticipated, he said.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 17.
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email atÂ email@example.com.