PARKMAN, Maine — The treasurer of the Parkman Recreation Club — who allegedly misappropriated more than $1,000 from the organization last year and later returned the money — has been charged with theft, Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Guy Dow said Friday.
Dow said Karna Johnson was summoned, not arrested, for Class C theft on Monday after it was found the money may have come from town funds.
“I got the bank records and it indicates perhaps the town may have some control over that [money]. We reviewed it with [District Attorney R. Christopher Almy] and we charged her for theft,” Dow said. “Basically, the documents from the bank say the town may have had jurisdiction over those funds.”
Johnson’s initial date in Dover-Foxcroft District Court is April 23.
Dow said in early March that Johnson contacted him on Feb. 23 about having taken the money. She said she withdrew a total of $1,025 over the course of two months last summer but has since paid the money back, according to Dow.
“I honestly don’t even know what to say,” Johnson said Friday. “I’m not going to tell you it didn’t happen, because it did. I turned myself in.”
When interviewed by the Bangor Daily News on March 7, Johnson wouldn’t indicate what the money was taken for.
“I am not the same person that I was [last] summer,” she said. “I have restored my faith in God and that is my focus, along with my children.”
Johnson said she called Dow to tell him about what happened.
“If I was trying to hide anything, I wouldn’t have talked to Guy Dow,” she said on March 7.
Club President Tricia Elderkin said it’s a private club and no public money was taken.
“It’s my belief that it is not a town issue; it is a private club,” Elderkin said on March 7, adding that she was content with the money being returned.
Johnson also said that the money was not controlled by the town.
“It’s not a town concern,” Johnson said Friday. “I have letters from the town of Parkman’s lawyers saying it’s not [town money]. The club has no interest in pressing charges.”
Elderkin said only she and Johnson are active members of the club.
“It’s not a big club. There used to be more involvement, and then it kind of petered out,” said Elderkin.