Petunia chair charged with embezzlement

January 22, 2014

Donna Brown

LUDINGTON — The former chairwoman of the Ludington Petunia Parade has been charged with embezzlement. Donna Lee Brown, 60, 4152 W. Washington Rd., Pentwater, was arraigned last week in front of the Mason County magistrate on a summons in 79th District Court.

Brown has been accused of taking $47,807.15 from the organization since she became chairwoman in November 2007 until November 2013. Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett said members of the Petunia Parade board, a private non-profit organization not affiliated with the city, approached his office in November with a concern of discrepancies in the organization’s financial books. Barnett said Det. J.B. Wells was put on the case and concluded that there was evidence to charge Brown with embezzlement. Barnett said Brown, who served many years as a volunteer Mason County Sheriff’s Office reserve officer, has been cooperative with the investigation.

Brown was arraigned Friday on the charge of embezzlement of more than $20,000 and less than $50,000. She is scheduled for a Jan. 29 preliminary examination in front of Judge Pete Wadel. A $5,000 personal bail was set.


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