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A Press Release today by the Cobourg police says that on Wednesday July 16, 2014, police arrested Dorette Carter of Cobourg as a result of the an in depth investigation. She was charged with numerous offences relating to Theft over $5000.00, Fraud over $5000.00 and Forgery. Earlier reports had said that she was being investigated.Police confirmed today that the investigation started in January 2014 and determined that "a number of Criminal offences had been committed by the past Director/Curator for the Art Gallery Dorette Carter".

Dorette CarterAccording to Northumberland Today, the specific charges were: two counts of fraud on public over $5,000; two counts of theft by conversion over $5,000; three counts of draw document without authority; six counts of forgery; and three counts of utter forged document.

She was released from custody with a number of conditions as well as a date to appear in court - August 27.

The arrest follows revelations of financial problems at the AGN reported here.  At last Monday's Council meeting, it was decided to contribute $12,500 towards the AGN by buying from the AGN a stained glass window already displayed at the Community Centre (See "Surprise Motion" in this article).

Police have requested that any information regarding the investigation should be forwarded to D/C Baggaley #258 of the Cobourg Police (905) 372-6821 Ext. 2280

Dorette seems an unlikely person to have committed a crime.  She perhaps made some incorrect choices to benefit the AGN but her only benefit would have been to keep the gallery open and therefore keep her job. In fact, Northumberland Today reports that "the investigation did not find any evidence of personal financial gain, said Det. Const. Baggaley."  Hopefully that is considered by the AGN Board.

Due to the large number of inquiries by the Public, the AGN has said they will hold a Press conference Friday morning (18th).

Sources
Press Release from police
Northumberland Today
Northumberland News

Update - July 19

At a press Conference, the AGN confirmed that they plan to continue and erase the debt through fundraising. 

They also confirmed that some of their 900 pieces of art are missing but that is not necessarily a cause for concern.  Treasurer Schermerhorn warned that this must not be assumed to be behind some of the charges laid. "The possibility is that they are behind a desk somewhere. We are not making any accusations - we are just trying to find them," he said. Otherwise, Schermerhorn said, "if a piece is not accounted for, it might be missing, it might be destroyed. In some cases, we will never know."

Another source told me that these "pieces of art" are not owned by the AGN but held in trust.  They are therefore not assets of the AGN and they are in no way an asset of virtual shareholders such as the Town/taxpayers.

At the recent Annual General Meeting,  Eight existing board members were re-appointed and four new ones added.  It is hoped that the refreshed board will be able to get things straightened out.  The names of the new board are not yet available.

Some information from Northumberland Today.

Update August 27

In Northumberland Superior Court in Cobourg today, the hearing for Dorett was adjourned to September 17th at the request of her lawyer.

Update September 17

Dorette Carter's criminal court case was adjourned for a second time to October 8th.

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