Good morning and welcome to Montrose Fresh, the new podcast from The Montrose Daily Press. Today is Wednesday December 16th, and we’re with local news, events, announcements, jobs, and more that matter to us here in Western Colorado. Today, our focus is on a Montrose County School District employee who has just been accused of theft as well as using a forged academic record.
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Before we begin, we’d like to recognize an athlete in our community. In a season where leadership was more valued than ever - between uncertainty and a need to follow guidelines and restrictions - the Montrose high school cross country team had plenty of it. Much of it came from senior Joshua Simpson. His coach, and dad, Brian Simpson said that from the very beginning, Joshua took it on himself to get kids together to run through the summer. And throughout the season, Joshua kept the communication levels and morale high.
Now, our feature story.
A Montrose County School District employee is accused of bilking at least hundreds of thousands of dollars through false expenditures and misuse of the district’s credit cards.
On the 11th, The Montrose Police Department arrested Robert “Steve” McEwin, who was an information services employee at MCSD. Police Chief Blaine Hall said that McEwin was preparing to move out of the area this week.
McEwin, immediately posted a $60,000 bond. He’s been accused of theft between $100,000 and $1 million which is a class-3 felony. He’s also been accused of using a forged academic record which is second-degree forgery. Both the theft and the forgery are first-class misdemeanors.
Hall said the school district’s security director contacted police about three months ago. The report triggered an investigation by police and the school district.
McEwin was hired in 2013 and was most recently its technology director. His salary was just over $100,000. He had claimed to have completed a doctoral program, which raised his salary, but it turns out that wasn’t actually true.
In a news release the school district said that improprieties were discovered during a performance evaluation... improprieties like... questionable expenditures, fraudulently altered receipts, and the use of a district credit card for personal expenses and travel.
On December 11th, police secured search and arrest warrants, which they served at McEwin’s home. According to Hall - they found evidence that supported the arrest and allegations.
Montrose County School District Superintendent Carrie Stephenson said McEwin had been placed on leave back in October and that he was terminated on the day he was arrested. Carrie also said that the school district can offer only limited comment, but they are committed to integrity, transparency and high ethical standards.
Now, each organization in the district is undergoing evaluation to ensure appropriate oversight is in place.
Next, here are a few other things going on in Montrose that you should know about.
The festive Garden of Lights tradition in Montrose has been affected by rising COVID-19 cases. The walk through the garden has been canceled, at least for December.
In a year filled with new norms for connecting, local students are not letting the pandemic limit their ability to spread holiday cheer with people who need support the most — the healthcare workers.
A Montrose man, Michael B Young, was arrested last month after people who are now adults came forward saying that sexually abused them when they were children.
And finally, before we go we’d like to take a moment to remember the life of LeRoy Henry Schuette. LeRoy is survived by his wife, Phyllis, his sister, his children, his 14 grandchildren and his 18 great-grandchildren.
LeRoy was born in Kansas, he married his love of 64 years, Phyllis, and they began their life’s journey together in Dodge City, Kansas. There, LeRoy worked for Right Co-op, and later became the maintenance engineer for Farr Better Feeds, before transferring to Oklahoma, where they raised their family and he finished out his career. LeRoy proudly served in the U.S. Army, concluding his service at Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma. He also was proud to be a 50-year member of the Moose Lodge, enjoying the brotherhood they found throughout their many adventures.
Upon retirement, LeRoy and Phyllis moved to Montrose, where they spent the last 20 years. They enjoyed riding his beloved motorcycle, traveling and exploring Colorado and the western U.S. in their travel trailer. LeRoy also enjoyed taking care of his yard, gardening and proudly tending his fruit trees. He also helped the elderly in his neighborhood. Thank you for taking a moment today to remember and celebrate LeRoy’s life.
That’s all for today, thank you for listening! For more information on any of these stories visit us at montrosepress.com.
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