$339,000 goes missing from cemetery coffers, so board fires manager and calls the cops

The Visalia Cemetery District has fired its manager of 20 years after an audit revealed a cash shortfall of $339,000 in one year.

District Manager Dona Shores was terminated Oct. 19, a statement to the public said that was released Monday.

The annual audit for the 2015-16 fiscal year ending June 30 showed cash revenues totaling $339,170.27 were received and documented, but were never deposited, said lawyer Kris Pedersen of Visalia, who serves as district legal counsel.

“The board of trustees was devastated at the discovery of the financial loss to this public cemetery,” the statement said. “Notwithstanding the loss, the district remains financially stable.”

The Visalia Police Department was notified of the missing money and is conducting a criminal investigation. The district is cooperating both with police and a forensic audit by the district’s insurance carrier, the statement said.

Shores could not be reached for comment.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold