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Red Oak: $10,000 missing from tax office

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STAFF REPORT
The Ellis County Press
RED OAK - Even the tax collectors are getting jilted.

An estimated $10,000 came up missing from the Red Oak branch tax office last week, according to County Attorney Joe Grubbs. Currently, investigators with the Red Oak Police Department and the Red Oak Independent School District Police Department are handling the case.

'I hope they catch them,' Grubbs said.

Grubbs said Red Oak authorities would handle the situation like a regular theft or burglary case, but did acknowledge a similar instance occurred several years ago with the same tax office, which is operated by Ellis County Tax Assessor-Collector John Bridges' office.

The first tax office case was related to an employee theft scheme. The now-former employee embezzled auto registration fees.

'People would come in to pay [for their registration], and [the employee] wouldn't report it to the state,' Grubbs said.

When asked about the investigation, ROPD Chief Craig Rudolph said since the tax office is operated out of an ROISD building, Scott Lindsey and his team of district officers are working the case.

'I can't tell you [approximately how much], but it was well into the thousands,' Rudolph said, who reiterated that if ROISD needs help with more detectives, the city department would be happy to provide them.

'We helped process the scene [before ROISD PD took over],' Rudolph said.

Last year, in a case involving a county clerk employee accused of taking fees without reporting them, Grubbs said that was a different situation due to bookkeeping irregularities caught by the county auditor.

Grubbs said the employee, is now serving five years in prison for the crime.

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