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Vollaire Misspent at Least $84,500, City Audit Finds : Finances: The district attorney is investigating the former city manager. 'There will be some monies that we're going to have to pay back,' her lawyer concedes.

June 17, 1993|LEE ROMNEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BRADBURY — Former Bradbury City Manager Aurora (Dolly) Vollaire misspent at least $84,500 of city money on personal items since 1983, according to a report by the city's auditors.

The long-awaited audit on Vollaire's expenditures this week confirmed earlier reports by The Times that Vollaire had spent thousands of dollars at such stores as Bullock's, Tiffany's and Saks for luxuries such as fine china, clothing and designer sunglasses that had nothing to do with city business.

Her purchases at "department stores, specialty stores, non-local restaurants and out-of-town expenses" along with receipts that were submitted twice added up to the $84,000 figure, according to the report by the Pasadena auditing firm of McGladrey & Pullen.

An additional $33,055 was spent on gas, local restaurants, seminars and car washes, expenses that could have been related to city business. While City Atty. C. Edward Dilkes said it remains unclear whether city policy allowed Vollaire to be reimbursed for her personal auto expenses, several current and former city officials have said Vollaire's vehicle allowance was lumped into her salary years ago.

The report, presented to the Bradbury City Council at a regular meeting Tuesday, was the culmination of weeks of investigation by the firm, which conducted Bradbury's annual audits for nearly a decade and never noticed any irregularities in city finances.

Vollaire was fired in April in the wake of allegations that she misspent city money by means of her city credit card, reimbursements to her personal credit card and by misusing other city accounts.

The district attorney's office is investigating and recently searched Vollaire's Sierra Madre home and city offices to round up bank statements, check receipts and other documents.

In a statement submitted to Superior Court Judge Gordon Ringer requesting the search warrant last month, investigator Michael Armstrong said his review of city records, together with items to be seized, would indicate that Vollaire committed several felonies, including misuse of public funds, presentation of fraudulent claims to a city, and grand theft by false pretenses and embezzlement.

Vollaire, who served as city manager for 20 years, also served as finance director, planning director and city clerk before assuming the manager's post.

The auditors' report, which examined Vollaire's spending accounts back to 1983, when the city credit card was issued, divided suspect purchases into two categories: expenditures that appeared to have no relation to city business, and those that may have.

While the accounts were examined back to 1983, city credit card statements detailing exactly what Vollaire bought with city money were available only from 1986 to the present, said accountant Christie Kubicek. An additional $7,000 was paid to the credit card account by the city between 1983 and 1986, for which no records were available, she said.

Vollaire's attorney, Rayford Fountain, said some monies may be paid back to the city.

The city has a lien on $83,000 of Vollaire's retirement funds, and Fountain said he hopes to resolve the issue of restitution without civil litigation and without admitting any criminal liability.

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