Law enforcement officers were seen removing items on October 20 from Parker’s town hall and the home of Managing Director Lori Wedemeyer upstream of Parker. They included deputies from the Yuma County and La Paz County Sheriff’s Offices.
The Pioneer learned that these officers were executing search warrants as part of an investigation into allegations of embezzlement by a city employee.
“We helped Yuma County and the Arizona Inspector General’s office execute search warrants this morning,” La Paz County Deputy Chief David Gray said in an email to Pioneer. “We are not the investigating agency and have no details of their ongoing investigation.”
The Pioneer contacted City Clerk Amy Putnam, but she declined to comment at this time.
Pioneer’s attempts to contact Wedemeyer were unsuccessful.
Parker Mayor Karen Bonds and Council Member Randy Hartless both said on October 21 that they had no information on the matter.
“You know as much as I do,” Hartless said in a response to an email from the Pioneer. Hartless has often criticized Wedemeyer.
A Parker town employee was fired on Friday, September 24, amid unspecified allegations of embezzlement. The Arizona Auditor General’s office interviewed the employee the day before, September 23. In a city press release, it was stated that the employee was dismissed based on this interview and direct communication between the city administration and the employee.
Jennifer Alcaida has been mentioned in social media posts as the suspected city employee.
Police Chief Mike Bailey said the case was under investigation by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office. He said the case was complicated and, due to those involved, the decision was made that an agency outside of La Paz County should handle the investigation.