FARMINGTON — The investigation into embezzlement at the Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to draw questions after city councilors called Sgt. Robert Perez, the lead investigator in the case, to Tuesday's city council work session.

Questions first centered around whether the investigation was hampered by a lack of resources but quickly shifted after city councilor Mary Fischer asked about two individuals included in the police report.

"Two of the key players, whether they had anything to do with (the embezzlement) or not, have not yet been interviewed," she said.

Perez said that he had one of the individuals scheduled for an interview, but that the window of opportunity to conduct it closed after the news of Deborah Dusenbery's death spread on Feb. 1. The individual retained attorney Vic Titus later that day and was no longer available for the interview, according to the official police report.

The status of the criminal investigation continues to be clear, but additional review will be conducted, Perez said.

City councilors and Mayor Tommy Roberts also inquired into the resources available to the investigation.

The police department had the option of contacting Rocky Mountain Information Network, which provides services including forensic accounting to law enforcement agencies throughout the region. The police department is a member agency.

The city, however, decided to retain Solga and Jakino, a private certified public accounting firm.


Advertisement

Once the $49,500 allocated by the city toward the investigation ran out, that resource became unavailable to the police department, Perez said.

"The main part of this investigation was financial," he said. "It needed a certain type of expertise. I didn't have the resources, time or ability to investigate those branches fully."

Perez said that he coordinated closely with the firm to summarize the information for the general public, or to present it in a court of law if necessary.

City Manager Rob Mayes said that the financial and criminal aspects of the case were separate issues.

Councilor Jason Sandel asked the city manager where the city stands with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and if there is a need to review the funding and formation of its board.

Mayes was not prepared to make a recommendation at the time, and the council decided to review the issue at a later date.