Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Forensic auditors say $216,211 missing from Safety Harbor bank accounts

SAFETY HARBOR — More than $215,000 vanished from the city's bank accounts in the last year JoAnne Ryan headed up the finance department, forensic auditors have found.

Most of it was cash.

That's more than twice the amount of the roughly $100,000 that authorities previously thought was missing.

And it dwarfs the nearly $13,000 in personal charges on city credit cards that originally came to light and led to Ryan's dismissal as finance director Aug. 20.

Ryan, 49, originally was charged with grand theft and accused of making more than $15,000 in personal charges on the city's credit cards since April 2007, most in connection with a basketball team on which her daughters played.

Ryan has pleaded not guilty.

Last month, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office stiffened the charge against her from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony when it became apparent the amount was between $20,000 and $100,000.

"The city provided the state attorney with enough information to have Ms. Ryan charged with first-degree felony grand theft and we expect that they will prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law,'' Mayor Andy Steingold said.

First-degree felony grand theft is anything more than $100,000.

In the latest results from delving into the 2007-08 books, accountants found $216,211 missing and numerous inconsistencies. For example:

• Between Sept. 27, 2007, and Oct. 3, 2007, $1,273 in cash was collected from the recreation department and the library, yet just $368 was deposited.

• On June 4, 2008, $1,986 in cash was collected from the recreation department and the library, but only $37 in cash was deposited.

Ronnie Crider, Ryan's lawyer, was unaware of the city's findings until a reporter called.

"That's news to me,'' he said. "The state hasn't alleged anything close to that (amount) at this point. They're alleging a theft of between $20,000 and $100,000.''

Assistant State Attorney Gregory Groger could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Ryan was the city's finance director from 1992 to 2008.

Her next pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 21.

The city's audit is scheduled to be completed within the next two months.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Forensic auditors say $216,211 missing from Safety Harbor bank accounts 04/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.