Landis neighbors concerned high utility bills may be connected to alleged embezzlement

Neighbors in Landis are demanding answers from town leaders following an embezzlement investigation and high bills for townspeople that some believe are linked to it.

There is a state investigation right now into the embezzlement allegations, and there's also a lawsuit. For that reason, town leaders couldn’t reveal, but what they did say left many people with more questions Monday night. 

The investigation concerns two town employees, who are accused of stealing large amounts of money from right under everyone's noses, and it could have had an effect on every person in the town.

“To the extent that the embezzlement affected the individual utility funds: Each of our different utilities are in a different fund. The extent to which it affected that is part of the rest of this investigation,” Interim Town Manager Kenny Isenhour said.

Isenhour couldn't say much about what that investigation has uncovered so far and whether or not it affected the utility bills of Landis neighbors, but he did say there could be more to the story.

“There could be four or five people before all this is over with.” 

Residents are happy the issue is being looked into, but there's also a growing sense of frustration over the fact it happened at all.

“Every dollar that is being spent or will be spent will be watched by the taxpaying citizens of this town for a long time to come,” neighbor Stanley Sloop said. 

The lawsuit alleges that Reed Linn, the former town manager, and Ginger Gibson, the town's former finance director, lied and stole tens of thousands of dollars from the town. Officials say it will take years to fix the damage done.

“I’m apologizing for what Reed and Ginger [have] done, and I think every board member does, too,” Mayor Mike Mahaley said. 

Linn and Gibson have not been charged with anything, so far, but the town has named them in a civil suit that deals specifically with those allegations.