MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 1, 2013

Evidence questions extend hearing

Water park embezzlement suspect to return to court in April

— A woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from River Country Water Park will find out in April whether she’ll be bound over for trial.

Felicia Pruitt, 36, appeared in court Friday, but difficulties admitting documents into evidence led to a continuance of her preliminary hearing.

Pruitt was charged in August with allegedly embezzling $53,265.76 from the park between June 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2011. She is accused of falsifying reports by showing a smaller amount to be deposited than what was accurate, creating false sales reports and signing their employees’ names to some reports.

Pruitt, who lives in California, her attorney said, will return to court at 9 a.m. April 18 and 19. Pruitt posted $10,000 bond in August after turning herself in.

Assistant Muskogee County District Attorney Dan Medlock questioned former Muskogee Police Officer Pedro Zardeneta on Friday. Zardeneta investigated the alleged embezzlement because he previously worked for the water park.

Zardeneta said he watched hundreds of hours of surveillance tape during the investigation and looked over dozens of financial documents turned in to the city treasurer’s office by Pruitt, who was the park’s aquatic’s supervisor. Zardeneta said he had been advised that up to $130,000 may have been embezzled from the park, but he felt that he could only prove a figure closer to $60,000.

Pruitt’s attorney, Rob V. Henson of Tulsa, objected to many of Zardeneta’s statements regarding those documents, saying Zardeneta lacked the financial or accounting background to verify the authenticity of the documents.

After a brief recess, Medlock was able to get City Treasurer Jean Kingston to testify. However, date discrepancies on some of the copied documents forced another delay.

Kingston said the park’s computer would sometimes print the wrong date on receipts given to the treasurer’s office — some documents allegedly filed in August would display July dates.

During the second delay, a box containing the original receipts and paperwork was brought to the courthouse from the police station’s evidence room.

At that time, both sides agreed to a continuance for the hearing.  

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks