NEWTON, Kan. - Kayla Tillery, a former Newton Chamber of Commerce employee, is charged with unlawfully printing and spending Newton Bucks. She's accused of stealing $25,000 dollars from the Chamber.Now, twelve additional charges have now been filed, and eleven of them are felony theft charges. She's accused of using a Chamber of Commerce credit card to pay her bills.
"To pay things such as utility bills from the Chamber's credit card account, which is separate from the Newton Bucks account,” Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said.
In total, Tillery is accused of spending $1,400 on the credit card. And due to Tillery's previous theft convictions, the charges are all automatically felonies.
The Chamber's executive director, Jim Schwarzenberger says Tillery was hired through a temp agency and at the time, they believed her record was clean.
"Well we place a lot of trust in individuals we hire and I think we should do that. So when you have someone that you've trusted that would betray that trust, there's a lot of concern not only at the Chamber but in the community,” Schwarzenberger said.
But Schwarzenberger says Tillery's arrest and the charges against her won't keep the Chamber or the Newton Bucks program from supporting local businesses.
"We have a very resilient community, we have a very resilient Chamber of Commerce and I firmly believe we're going to come through this stronger,” Schwarzenberger said.