MARION — Federal investigators are launching an investigation into missing funds at Marion Water Department.

FBI Spokesman Brad Ware said local police referred the case to the FBI, and it will begin investigating the missing funds. Ware said he could not comment further.

Marion Police Chief John Eibeck said the complexity of the case was one reason for turning it over to the FBI. Eibeck said his investigator spoke with the state’s attorney’s office, and both parties felt bringing in the FBI was the correct decision. Eibeck said he could not comment on how much public money is believed to be missing.

The investigation, Eibeck said, has focused on former water department manager Linda Heyde. If court action arises, it may be in federal court, he said.

Williamson County State’s Attorney Charles Garnati declined to comment on the case.

The city of Marion began investigating its water department in May after the city council was made aware of unusual transactions. On May 14, water department manager Linda Heyde was discharged for cause. Heyde had worked for the city for about 40 years, 10 of them in the water department.

The city hired an independent auditor to go back and look at the last three years of records in the water department.

Marion Mayor Bob Butler said the city completed its audit and investigation of water department records and turned the findings over to the Williams County state’s attorney’s office.

Butler said the missing funds are significant, but could not comment exactly how much was taken. Butler did say the amount missing exceeds Heyde’s $100,000 security bond.

Even though officials suspect the theft goes back more than three years, the audit only looked at three years of water department records. Auditors could have looked further back, but Butler said criminal liability is restricted to three years.

“We suspect it might have gone on a short time beyond three (years),” Butler said. “It’s a difficult proposition to have to contend with.”

Butler said once authorities are able to release details of the investigation, the public will realize just how complex of a case it is.

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(17) comments

MMike
MMike

It must be the corrupt Chicago machine that is to blame for this.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

It' Bush's fault!

madblogger
madblogger

I blame global warming!

MMike
MMike

For once, we are all right!

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Really the butler did it.

Diogenes
Diogenes

It's Satan! Of course some of our friends think Old Scratch and former President Bush are one in the same. ;^)

MickeeD
MickeeD

I still blame Yoko.

SleeplessinJC
SleeplessinJC

I heard the FBI already presented evidence to State's Attorney regarding Johnston City's misappropriation or missing funds and he chose to not do anything or said there was not enough evidence. Seems to me if the FBI presents evidence there would be something to pursue.
If the local officials find laws broken and cannot get the State's Attorney to do something about it, what next? State Police? Lisa Madigan? Ask the FBI to pursue it as a federal case, as it appears to be doing in Marion? I mean, why different? We are about 7 miles apart; why the difference in how it is behing handled?
We have been stuck paying for past administration driving this city into the ditch,,blowing money we didn't have and taking out loans they couldn't pay. The new administration has been taking hits for making difficult decisions that had to be made in order to keep the town afloat. People are blaming the wrong people. I think we need to demand a special prosecutor to look at that FBI case that was presented and do something about what was done in JC. People need to be held accountable. If we don't make sure that happens, then shame on us for not pushing for it!

Ric Blaine
Ric Blaine

The law enforcement agency that should be investigating this mess is the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. IRS won't get involved, however, since it will be consumed with enforcing Obamacare. After all, what's more important--crime or Obama's legacy?

WatchfulEyeTWOpointO
WatchfulEyeTWOpointO

In any words... the walls are crumbling.

You can bet she will serve time. The interesting question will be how much time will be considered for her cooperation in any such "additional information" which she may be request to provide.

Butler:"It's a difficult proposition to have to contend with."

Indeed it is -

george of the jungle
george of the jungle

If all of the things you have said over the years about the corruption in Marion are true, then it will be a very long investigation. That is unless the FBI is also in Butler's pocket like you have said everyone else is.

WatchfulEyeTWOpointO
WatchfulEyeTWOpointO

Let's see, you say: "if all these things you have said OVER THE YEARS are true, then it will be A VERY LONG INVESTIGATION…

Sounds about right - over the Years - a LONG INVESTIGATION -

WOW - you must be a sheep leader! So you answered your own question with your snide comment -

And, frankly - there's no reason to respond to your moronic final sentence.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

When the FBI is done in Marion send them to Christopher. We have missing monies to that no one has been able to find were it went for two years now. If our city knows, they are not letting the public know the conclusion.

WatchfulEyeTWOpointO
WatchfulEyeTWOpointO

Sorry Joe - those folks should be pretty busy for a while.

southerngirl
southerngirl

They need to go to Johnston City as well.

mainman
mainman

Joe... the key words were....the local PD called the FBI !

Our local PD hasn't called them......HMMMMMMM !!

Makes you wonder !!!

cchs98
cchs98

So in other words, Linda Heyde is going to jail. If I were her, I'd be using those stolen funds to pick up the latest Spanish version of Rosetta Stone and head for the boarder....lol

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