Former Institute Volunteer Fire Department treasurer Ethel Andrews pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling $25,000 and another $30,000 from the West Virginia State University Alumni Association over the course of "several years."
Andrews told Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster she took the money to pay fees to have money sent from overseas, a well known scam.
"She put all over her own money in it," said Assistant Prosecutor Ken Starcher. Then [Andrews] started chasing it with other peoples money."
The problem, according to Kanawha County officials, is that Andrews was solely responsible for the accounts. She was able to write several checks to herself, always calling them "special fire fund number 28."
"I'm not allowed to go down and write checks myself and I'm elected," said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.
Carper points to unanswered questions with the departments gas cards as other possible issues with the way the Institute VFD had been run under the former leadership.
"I think this matter is not over. I think it needs to be looked at from top to bottom. I still have concerns," said Carper.