By Ryan Lewallen, County 17
A former executive director of a Gillette non-profit has been charged with stealing $189,000 from the organization over the course of three years, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
Donna Morgan, 58, is charged with three counts of felony theft, each count filed for every year she worked as an executive director of Personal Frontiers, a local drug and alcohol counseling establishment, during which time she reportedly stole and spent $189,000 of the organization’s money, the affidavit states.
Gillette police detectives were notified of the alleged theft by a member of the Personal Frontiers Board of Directors in whom Morgan had reportedly confided in while drinking together in July 2021, per the affidavit. During the conversation, Morgan reportedly became more and more upset and voiced that she may have to refinance her home to pay off the debt.
At the time, Morgan reportedly stated that she had spent $14,000 of Personal Frontiers’ money without authorization using a debit card that only she had access to, per the affidavit.
Over the course of her employment, Morgan built a reputation for frequent gambling and heavy drinking. The board member also reported witnessing Morgan purchasing large numbers of gambling tickets at a local establishment, per the affidavit, despite claiming to be broke moments before.
During her interview with detectives, Morgan admitted to purchasing gambling tickets but said she uses her winnings to do so, according to the affidavit.
When informed of the theft allegations made against her, Morgan refused to talk until she could consult with an attorney.
In the weeks that followed, the Personal Frontier board members reportedly gathered bank statements and a detailed list of “suspicious” transactions at the Eagles Lounge, Wyoming Downs, The Horse Palace, and several liquor establishments dating back to 2019, the affidavit states.
The transactions equaled $36,998 in 2019, $97,907 in 2020, and $54,168 in 2021, per the affidavit.
Morgan was arraigned on the charges before Circuit Court Judge Wendy Bartlett on Aug. 25.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 1 to establish whether probable cause exists before sending the case on to District Court.