Published On: Fri, Jun 13th, 2014

Misdemeanor charges filed against former and current commissioners

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A former county commissioner and current commissioner have been indicted by the Greenbrier County grand jury on misdemeanor charges on Wednesday. The two are accused of misappropriation of hotel occupancy tax funds. As a misdemeanor, the penalty is $100 if they are found guilty.

Karen Lobban, the current president of the commission and Betty Crookshanks, the former commission president, are accused of knowingly and unlawfully, but not feloniously, voting to apply the proceeds of money generated by the hotel occupancy tax for a purpose not authorized by law.

At issue is the 2-1 vote, taken before Crookshanks left office in Dec. 2012, to allocate $1.3 million in hotel-motel tax money for the aquatic center at New River Community and Technical College. The indictment alleges funding for that project with the hotel-motel tax money is “not authorized by law” because the campus in Lewisburg is not a county-owned facility.

In 2010 the Greenbrier County Commission had entered into a lease with New River for the aquatic center project. In the interim, New River returned $300,000 of the funds. The remaining $1 million is the subject of civil litigation.