According to a probable cause affidavit filed by ISP Sgt. Scott Stockton and a recent State Board of Accounts audit, the D felony theft is alleged to have occurred between Jan.1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2006, while Rita K. Lang, 56, served as the VanBibber Lake Conservancy Financial Secretary.
Lang is accused of writing checks to herself totaling $12,699.24, and pocketing at least $9,159 in cash from the sale of Conservancy trash bags. She was also cited for a missing lap top computer valued at $1,700, and other missing funds, late fees and penalties.
Though the total amount of the theft hovers around $32,000, Conservancy President Jerry Thacker told the BannerGraphic that the combination of theft and consistent mismanagement could cost the Van Bibber community more than $100,000.
Lang told investigators that she began taking money from the Conservancy when she fell behind on personal bills due to her husband's recent illness, probable cause affidavit states. Lang also said she was the primary provider for several members of her family and felt responsibility to support them financially. She is expected to make her first appearance before the Putnam County Circuit Court on Friday.
The Van Bibber Lake Conservancy was established in 1970 to provide safe drinking water to the nearly 400 residents of Van Bibber Lake. Conservancy Board members are elected by area homeowners, oversee an annual budget of $250,000 and provide services including road construction and maintenance, water and sewer services and trash collection.