(Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details.)
The secretary-treasurer of the Pearce’s Mill Fire Department has been charged with embezzling more than $48,000 over a nearly 20-month period, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
Kimberly Reeves, 52, of Hope Mills, was arrested at 8 a.m. Friday, according to a news release. She is charged with felony larceny by employee.
Reeves is accused of embezzling the money between July 2021 and February 2023.
Nick Horne, president of the board of the fire department, said Friday that the department’s financial records were sent to the county financial staff for approval.
“They found discrepancies in them,” Horne said. “I called the chief, and he got up with me. That’s what started it all.”
He said Reeves’ arrest was a surprise to him.
“I was totally shocked when we were told that,” Horne said. “I told them there was no way, and they proved me wrong. I was shocked.”
Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said Friday that because the case is pending, “I can’t say much.”
The case was investigated by the Financial Crimes Unit of the Sheriff’s Office.
After her arrest, Reeves was taken to the Cumberland County Detention Center and given a $10,000 unsecured bond. Her first appearance in court was Friday afternoon.
Her next hearing will be in about a month, West said.
“I can’t get into the facts other than they’ve had a first appearance,” West said. “The case is moving forward, and my understanding is that the allegation is just under $50,000 was embezzled.”
According to Horne, Reeves had been working for the fire department for roughly a year and a half.
“She started out helping her father-in-law, who was our accountant,” he said. “And, of course, he passed away and she took on his job. He had been with the fire department almost from the beginning. And we’ve been in business for almost 67 years. She started out helping him when he started having medical problems.”
Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.