Grand jury indicts Lee, former officer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Former Chamber of Commerce Director Carol Lee, 44, has been indicted by a Butler County Grand Jury on charges she embezzled over $7,000 in funds prior to resigning her position on Nov. 9, 2006.

District Attorney John Andrews confirmed that Lee turned herself in to Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden following the indictment and was processed and fingerprinted prior to being released on her own recognizance on $5,000 bail.

She is charged with theft of property, 1st degree, and theft of property, 2nd degree. Prosecutors allege Lee stole $6,685.82 from a scholarship account at Peoples Bank set up to fund youth scholarships for winners of the annual Butler County Achiever Award. The DA's office also alleges Lee misused $850 in other funds in her position as Chamber Director.

The embezzlements are supposed to have occurred between September 2004 and August 2006, according to court records.

Lee did not appear in court for arraignment proceedings on Friday in Butler County Circuit Court.

Her attorney, McGowin Williamson filed a Waiver of Arraignment on behalf of his client, entering a plea of not guilty.

Additionally, the grand jury indicted former Greenville police officer John Matthew Bass, 26, on charges of domestic violence, 2nd degree, and unlawful imprisonment.

Bass is alleged to have physically assaulted and imprisoned his ex-girlfriend in December 2006. He, along with fellow Greenville policeman Byron Russell, was named the state's Officer of the Year after being shot during a hotel gunfight in January 2006. Both Bass and Russell shot and killed their assailant, later identified as Wayne Vasquez of Louisiana.

Williamson, who also is representing Bass, filed a Waiver of Arraignment.

Bass entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.