Jennie Carter appeared for her initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court this morning. Charged with a felony count of theft, Carter pleaded not guilty to Judge Kim Hall. She is currently out on $5,000 cash bond.
Carter requested a court appointed lawyer, but under questioning by the judge, she said that she was gainfully employed, and paid $2,600 a month. When asked if she had anything of value that could be sold to pay a lawyer, she said she had a four-year-old television and a 2007 Ford Taurus that she was making payments on. Her on-hand cash was listed as $200.00, and she said her $5,000 bond money was borrowed.
In an effort to explain how the embezzlement of $7,140 could go undetected for almost a year, the Starke County Tourism Board issued a timeline and statement yesterday in the Jennie Carter case.
According to the timeline, Carter, Coordinator of the Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County organization, wrote a check for that amount of money on March 21st, 2011 to the Drug Free organization. She claimed it was for money owed to the Indiana Department of Revenue in taxes. Cosigning with Carter was the Tourism Board President, Rich Wieczorek, who is not suspected of wrongdoing. The check was cashed by Carter, who took possession of the money.
The Memorial Day Weekend is the “kick-off” for summer fun in the area. Rich Wieczorek, spokesperson for the Tourism Board in Starke County, is in to tell us about the guides that are available at the tourism office in the Chamber Depot.
“Right now we’ve got the Visitor’s Guide and it’s information for people coming into the county because when the come in the county, where do they go? Well, they pick up the Visitor’s Guide and there it is. The festivals are in there, recreation, antique shops, places to eat, and if they don’t have a place to stay, lodging is listed. At the same time, the campgrounds are all opening up now. The Bass Lake Beach and Campground will have free Wednesdays again and Hickory Hills is going full blast too.”