Board member charged with embezzling from dog park

Muttland Meadows secretary is accused of stealing $17,800 from Town of Grafton nonprofit organization
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A member of the Muttland Meadows dog park board of directors was charged last week in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with embezzling thousands of dollars over more than four years from the Town of Grafton nonprofit organization.

Grafton resident Donald R. Colber, 60, who faces one count of felony theft, is accused of stealing $17,819 from the dog park on South Green Bay Avenue, which according to the organization relies completely on donations from park users for financial support. 

The thefts, according to the criminal complaint, began in November 2013, months after Colber was named secretary of the Muttland Meadows Inc. board of directors in March of that year, and continued through Feb. 2 of this year when a criminal investigation began, the organization’s treasurer, Paul Hundley, told  Ozaukee County Sheriff’s detective DeMaine Milbach.

In June 2017, Muttland Meadows President Sandra Cooley discovered that Colber had been included as a signatory on the organization’s bank account on Oct. 24, 2013, without the approval of the board of directors.

Cooley and Hundley then launched an internal audit of the organization’s financial records and found that Colber had made several unauthorized withdrawals from Muttland Meadows bank accounts, the complaint states.

  In October 2017, the board of directors requested an accounting of the withdrawals from Colber but never received one.

    Milbach’s investigation concluded that from the organization’s three bank accounts Colber withdrew $1,743 in late 2013 and 2014, $6,272 in 2015, $6,784 in 2016 and $3,202 in 2017 for a total of $17,819. None of the withdrawals were authorized by the board of directors, according to the complaint.

During the course of his investigation, Milbach was contacted by Raymond Summerfield, who told him that Colber had lived with his family for a period of time after being evicted from his home.

Summerfield said that on eight to 10 occasions, he saw Colber take money from the donation box at the dog park and put it in his pocket, the complaint states.

Summerfield said Colber needed money to support his addiction to pain medication and marijuana use. Colber, he said, would take prescription pain killers, preferably Percocet, in front of people, “Chewing them and swallowing them without water,” according to the complaint.

In August, Colber was charged forging a prescription for oxycodone.

An employee of Shopko Pharmacy in Grafton told police that Colber provided a prescription from June that was altered so that it appeared to have been written on Aug. 13, the complaint states.

The employee called Colber’s doctor, who said he didn’t write a prescription for him on Aug. 13 and had not seen Colber since July.

A police officer caught up with Colber at the pharmacy, and when confronted with the fact his doctor said he had not written a prescription for him on Aug. 13, Colber said the doctor was “old and forgetful,” according to the complaint.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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