BETHANY, Okla. – A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a City of Bethany employee accused of stealing money.
Police say she took more than $3,000 that belonged to the city.
When residents paid for things like utility bills in cash, investigators say the employee in question would just pocket the money, leaving the residents’ bills unpaid.
“Anytime a city employee breaks the public’s trust, that`s a serious matter,” police Chief Phil Cole said.
At City Hall, Bethany residents hand over the cash to pay their utility bills – not expecting their money to go in the pockets of a city employee.
Police say Anora Johnson did just that behind these windows, leaving resident’s bills unpaid.
“There was a resident who came in, who had received a cut off notice on their utility account,” Chief Cole said.
But that resident had a receipt given to him by Johnson.
From there, Bethany Police started digging and found more delinquent accounts.
“’I believe she was having financial problems and very well may have intended to pay those funds back but did not have the opportunity to do that before she was discovered,” Chief Cole said.
At the time, Johnson confessed to everything.
She said she would take money from the resident.
But she would then void the receipt and pocket the cash, leaving her with over $3300.
But as investigators built their case, Johnson was nowhere to be found.
We knocked on the door of her last known address but the house was empty.
Now, the employees in the building are left re-building the City of Bethany’s trust.
“Even on small amounts, when you’re handling municipal funds it can impact people’s lives,” Chief Cole said.
Johnson also confessed to taking money from the police departments impound fund.
If you have any information that could lead Bethany police to her they urge you to give them a call at (405) 789-2323.