Kirkwood employee investigated |

Kirkwood employee investigated

A South Lake Tahoe woman is under investigation for allegedly mishandling funds while serving as executive director of the Kirkwood Resort Master Owners Association,

The investigation was confirmed by California and Alpine County law enforcement authorities, who released few details. No arrest has been made.

Deborah Ward, 40, worked for the homeowners group from late 1997 to early 1998. Financial reports produced by Ward were questioned by board members, who unsuccessfully sought more information.

“As the financial records were provided, we looked through them and found a significant number of inconsistencies of concern,” said Gary Merck, board member and Kirkwood Ski Resort chief executive officer.

Ward was placed on administrative leave and later fired after failing to provide the requested information.

“We kept asking. It shouldn’t have been any big deal,” said Tony Reid, board member and chief financial officer for the Alpine County ski resort.

The matter was turned over to the Alpine County Sheriff’s Department, which later involved the California Department of Justice.

Several attempts to obtain comments from Ward were left unanswered as of press time.

Sheriff Skip Veatch, Justice Department agent Jim Becker and association board members declined to disclose the amount of money in question. Ray Reed, in his first week as the new executive director, said the association remains solvent.

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