Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich is shown presenting Shelley Mickens with a framed certificate upon her retirement in June 2016. (Facebook photo)

Former Abbotsford Police finance director on hook for $312,000

Civil court ruling orders Shelley Mickens to pay back embezzled funds

The former finance director of the Abbotsford Police Board has been ordered by the courts to pay back more than $300,000 that she embezzled over a 10-year period.

The civil court ruling against Shelley Dallas Mickens, who is also known by the surnames Boyce or Bursill, was made Sept. 15 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

The ruling does not convict her of any crime, and is separate from any criminal charges and related decisions that could arise in the future.

Mickens was ordered to pay a total of $312,417, as well as the City of Abbotsford’s court costs of $15,000.

The ruling indicates that Mickens cannot be released from the order by declaring bankruptcy and that the city has a “constructive trust” over any of her assets – including her residence on George Ferguson Way – acquired by the misappropriated funds.

The police board and the City of Abbotsford filed a notice of civil claim against Mickens on Feb. 22 of this year, initially saying she had stolen $192,000.

That amount was later amended to more than $312,000 after further discrepancies were discovered in police board accounting records.

Court records indicate that Mickens, who was in her role from April 1999 to June 2016, acquired the funds by preparing petty cash vouchers that contained “false and misleading information,” making misleading entries in the accounting record-keeping system and under-reporting cash payments.

Petty cash can be requested by an officer or employee of the Abbotsford Police Department to reimburse expenses – for example, to pay informants during the course of an investigation.

The petty cash vouchers are supposed to be signed by both the person issuing the voucher – another employee of the finance branch besides the director – and by the person receiving the cash.

But the court documents indicate that discrepancies in some of these transactions were discovered, including that some of the vouchers were in Mickens’ handwriting with her initials and were prepared on dates that the person normally handling the petty cash disbursements was out of the office.

As well, some of the vouchers were not signed by the party supposedly receiving the funds or were signed using initials that could not be matched to an existing employee.

The court documents indicate that the discrepancies were discovered after Mickens retired in June 2016.

Her successor, Randy Millard, took over in October of that year, and a member of the finance and budget branch asked him to review some suspicious transactions.

The documents state that Millard discovered several suspicious entries between February 2013 and April 2016, but he was not certain that Mickens had misappropriated the funds.

He believed she would be able to provide a “legitimate explanation” for the discrepancies, but, despite numerous attempts to obtain one, Mickens has never provided an explanation to the Abbotsford Police Department nor did she provide a response to the civil claim, the court records state.

A total of 59 fraudulent transactions were discovered. The first one, for $700, took place in 2006, but the remainder all occurred from 2009 to 2016.

Most were in amounts of $2,000, $3,000 or $4,000, but the largest – $7,500 – occurred on Jan. 29, 2016.

Many were done just days apart and there were long periods – all of 2011, 2013 and 2014 – where no theft occurred.

The APD previously indicated that the RCMP had been asked to investigate the matter to determine whether Mickens should be charged with any criminal wrongdoing. APD Const. Ian MacDonald confirmed Thursday that the investigation is still underway.

Just Posted

Drug-checking started as pilot project in Chilliwack to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Chilliwack goes cluck-cluck for chickens ahead of civic election

With an election in sight, urban chickens supporters ramp up their efforts for legal acceptance

Chilliwack basketballers grab gold at U-15 nationals

Julia Tuchscherer and Marijke Duralia led Team B.C. past Team Ontario in the title game.

Minto Cup trip for Chilliwack Mustangs lacrosse grad

Tyson Kirkness leads his Coquitlam Adanacs into battle at the national junior championship.

Wildfire smoke brings in air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

People with health conditions are urged to avoid the outdoors

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Woman missing after car swept away by mudslide near Cache Creek

A search is now underway for Valerie Morris, who has been missing since the afternoon of August 11.

Most Read