DICKSON CITY -- Police in Lackawanna County say the director of a community civic center used the center's bank account as her own, stealing thousands to spend at casinos.
Rebecca Flannery of Dickson City was arraigned at the Lackawanna County Courthouse Wednesday morning on theft charges tied to her job as the director of the Dickson City Civic Center.
Flannery has had the job for a decade, but investigators say over the past four years she's stolen at least $13,000.
The Dickson City Civic Center is home to a preschool, after school programs, basketball leagues, and private birthday parties.
There the director is known casually as "Miss Becky." She has a special parking spot right outside the front door.
But Miss Becky, or Rebecca Flannery of Dickson City, has been on medical leave since April. She's now answering to felony theft charges accused of taking at least $13,000 from the civic center's accounts.
"We supported Becky, as we trusted her, and this is very shocking to see this happen," said Dickson City Civic Center board member Kathy Siwinski.
Siwinski broke the news to staff shortly after Flannery's arraignment.
Siwinski and other board members went to authorities in June when they noticed thousands of dollars in withdrawals from the civic center's checking account, an account that only Flannery had access to.
All the withdrawals were made at casinos here in our area and in Atlantic City.
According to court papers, Flannery took $13,000 dating back to 2010.
"We're OK financially. I'm sure we'll build our balance back up. We'll be fine. Our preschool's full. We have a waiting list," Siwinski said.
Siwinski says the depletion of funds won't affect programs at the Dickson City Civic Center that pay for themselves. The center also receives money from Dickson City borough.
That upset taxpayers.
"My tax money's going toward gambling? That doesn't make me very happy, you know what I mean? I just hope that they come to a resolution and get it figured out the right way," said Kyle Rochinski of Dickson City.
Rebecca Flannery was charged with several counts of theft and receiving stolen property. She was released on $25,000 bail. She's due back in court later on this month.
For now, she remains on medical leave from her job at the Dickson City Civic Center.