NOGALES, AZ - Embezzlement is the latest controversy brought to light under scrutiny of fleet at the Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services (SEABHS), according to reports from San Pedro Valley News-Sun.
In addition to last month's accusation that SEABHS employees have been using company vehicles for personal use, the Arizona Attorney General's office announced Dec. 17 that embezzlement charges would be filed against Sylvia Nerey, a former SEABHS employee, accused of allegedly embezzling more than $30,665 between October 2006 and October 2008 while working in the company's accounts payable department in Benson, according to the Sun.
SEABHS, which provides mental health services in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, and Santa Cruz counties, is also searching for a new company CEO to replace 14-year CEO Dana Johnson, who was fired in November.
Johnson, who is being investigated for a $150,000 loan from SEABHS in 2004 that was never repaid, was responsible for the "costly purchase and management of the vehicle fleet," which the Sun reported costs more than $650,000 annually to operate and maintain. The fleet is comprised mainly of newer models, 2004 or newer, including Johnson's 2007 Cadillac SRX — reportedly purchased with SEABHS funds, according to the Sun.
The SEABHS board has requested more investigation into vehicle assignments. Currently, none of the fleet vehicles carry the SEABHS logo.