Investigators may be tracking missing money at Animal Shelter - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Investigators may be tracking missing money at Animal Shelter

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new twist was uncovered Wednesday in the Memphis Animal Shelter raid.  Shelby County sheriff's deputies and ASPCA forensics investigators are not only searching for alleged neglect of the animals at the Memphis pound, they're also making sure no money is missing.

"I don't want to go beyond what's in that search warrant," District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said Wednesday.

Gibbons would not say if investigators were tracking missing money from the shelter, but he did explain why he brought the sheriff into Memphis instead of using city police.

"The Animal Shelter was a city agency, so I felt under those circumstances it was probably better for some other law enforcement agency to conduct the initial investigation," he said.

The problems at the pound have been going on for years.  In February of 2008, a whistle blower told Action News 5 about concerns that unauthorized employees may have had access to potent drugs used during euthanasia, and said some pit bulls kept disappearing.

"They're being stolen or sold," the whistle blower said in a report that aired on February 21, 2008. "Someone's making a profit."

Former Public Services Director Ken Moody and Deputy Director Yalanda McFagden came under scrutiny for their oversight of the pound and later faced public pressure over accusations of money mismanagement of another city office: MSARC, the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

The state later vindicated them both, saying no money was missing from MSARC.  Still, they both resigned.

Wednesday, Gibbons would only speak on finding starved animals and unsanitary conditions.

"We're looking potentially at animal cruelty," He said.

Gibbons said his office will determine if charges should follow after completing the search warrant. There's no word who could be in the hot seat.

Meanwhile, it's up to Memphis Mayor AC Wharton if any firings will happen.  Investigators expect to wrap up the search warrant sometime Thursday.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly