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MEEKER — Shelly Flannery, former treasurer for the Rio Blanco County Historical Society, who is being investigated for allegedly misusing the organization’s funds, is in trouble again.
Flannery is now also being investigated for embezzling about $70,000 from another nonprofit group, the Routt County Habitat for Humanity, the Steamboat Springs Pilot reported Tuesday.
“That makes what she took from us look like a pittance,” Rio Blanco Historical Society President Steve Wix said.
Wix claims Flannery took about $7,300 in cash and checks, but that amount was repaid in July, all in $100 bills. However, an additional $7,100 is still unaccounted for, he said, adding the historical society did not have insurance for theft.
“From what we figure, she misappropriated the museum funds by about $7,100 by paying non-museum bills with the museum checkbook,” Wix said. “We just know we’ll probably never get anything back.”
Flannery has most recently been executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Steamboat Springs, one of the jobs she took since leaving her volunteer position with the Rio Blanco County Historical Society.
Wix said he first learned of the new allegations against Flannery after his wife heard a radio report Tuesday morning.
After a story initially appeared in the Herald Times on Sept. 11 about Flannery using historical society funds for personal use, Wix said he called a friend who is on the board of the Habitat of Humanity.
“When I called and told him, he was shocked,” Wix said. “He didn’t know anything about it. He said he would get a hold of his (board) president.”
According to the article in Tuesday’s Steamboat Springs Pilot, the president of Routt County Habitat for Humanity said the organization began reviewing its finances after learning of the accusations against Flannery in Rio Blanco County.
Wix said he met last week with Lt. Glenn Wilson of the Meeker Police Department about the Flannery matter.
“He’s been assigned to the case and he came by and interviewed me to get up to speed,” Wix said. “I just him gave the information I had.”
Wilson said he could not comment on whether he had met with or talked to Flannery.
“The situation is that it is still the middle of an active investigation and I’m not in much position to discuss it,” Wilson said. “I would like to visit with anyone who has information about this case, so the full story comes out.”
Wilson said he had not yet talked with investigators from the Steamboat Springs Police Department.
“I haven’t spoken with them yet, but I am planning on getting a hold of them very soon,”said Wilson, who was assigned to the case Sept. 30.
“The nature of the case is one that is highly complex,” Wilson said. “It’s hard to predict an exact timeline (for wrapping up the case), but I have hit the ground running as far as trying to get up to speed.”
In a prepared statement Wednesday, Flannery’s attorney, Cheryl Hardy-Moore of Steamboat Springs, said, “It was Shelly Flannery who first initiated contact with Habitat for Humanity in September. She has been fully cooperative with the investigating authorities. The case remains under investigation by the Steamboat Springs Police Department, and dialogue between the investigator and myself, as her attorney, is ongoing.”
Hardy-Moore added, “Curiously, she (Flannery) has not been contacted by Rio Blanco County (investigators), to my knowledge.”
Wix said law enforcement investigators had come up with additional historical society funds that were missing.
“They came up with about $2,000 (more) she owes us,” Wix said. “From our research, we don’t think that’s right, but they went to the bank and got all of the records themselves, so maybe they are right.”
Wix is filling in as temporary treasurer of the historical society. He updated members about the organization’s financial situation at last Sunday’s quarterly meeting.
“They didn’t say much about it,” Wix said. “I just explained the situation. The group had a few questions, but they didn’t seem too upset. I just hope they don’t think we mismanage the money they give us with their dues and donations.”
Wix said historical society officers, including treasurer, will be elected at the next quarterly meeting in January.
“Hopefully, we’ll find somebody trustworthy,” Wix said.