Police closed its case into questionable spending by employees at a famous Maryland cemetery without charging anyone.
In April, the News4 I-Team reported how former employees found receipts dating from 2007 until 2013 showing Mount Olivet Cemetery's superintendent and deputy superintendent used the cemetery's tax-exempt credit cards on purchases for home improvement projects at their private homes, including a new roof, a new fence and thousands of dollars of appliances.
After the series of reports, several lot owners filed complaints with the Frederick Police Department for the alleged misuse of the credit cards.
According to the police report obtained by the News4 I-Team, Superintendent Ron Pearcey admitted he and the assistant superintendent, Rick Reeder, did use the credit cards to make personal purchases. In the report, Pearcey also said the cemetery’s board of directors “conducted an investigation on the misuse of a cemetery credit card by Mr. Pearcey and Mr. Reeder,” and that the board “decided both parties would be reprimanded.”
According to the report, Pearcey and the cemetery's attorney, Dan Loftus, told police the two men were directed to reimburse the money to the cemetery and paid the taxes owed to the state.
Loftus told police that no member of the board wanted to file a police report and that they were satisfied with the outcome of their investigation and did not want any police involvement.
“An investigation into the matter was conducted by the local police department," the Frederick County State’s Attorney told the I-Team. "After conferring with the detective regarding that investigation, the state does not anticipate criminal charges being filed.”
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According to the police report, the county decided not to pursue any charges due to the cemetery being a private entity.
The cemetery’s lawyer released the following statement to the News4 I-Team:
"We have read the police report regarding the allegations made by the two former disgruntled at-will employees. The case is closed.
As stated in an earlier statement, the Board of Directors ("Board") took those allegations seriously. The Board investigated and addressed them last year in the Spring of 2015. After the investigation, the Board took prompt and appropriate action. The cemetery has done nothing wrong or illegal.
And again, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, as a private entity, does not wish to discuss its actions publicly. Mt. Olivet Cemetery is moving forward.
With respect to all personnel issues, it is the Board's practice to treat them as private and confidential.
And the Board hopes that its position can be appreciated."
Reported by Tisha Thompson, produced by Rick Yarborough, and shot and edited by Steve Jones.