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Trial opens for former Boys and Girls Club director

April 21, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Several witnesses testified Tuesday that former Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys & Girls Club interim director Glenn Stanley did not have permission to use club money to buy two used sports cars, pay for repairs for those cars, pay for a relative's funeral or pay for rent and a security deposit on an apartment.

Stanley, 39, is charged with one count of embezzlement, two counts of forgery and two counts of uttering.

The charges stem from allegations that he used $6,898 of the club's money for unauthorized, personal expenses.

His trial began Tuesday morning before Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes. Testimony from defense witnesses is expected to begin today.

Detective Sgt. George Swartwood, of the Martinsburg Police Department, testified that Stanley used club money to pay $600 for a 1984 Nissan 300 ZX and $1,100 for a 1985 Nissan 300 ZX, along with $3,309 for repairs to those two cars and a 1995 BMW. Swartwood testified that Stanley also used $1,000 in club money to pay for a security deposit and one month's rent for a Martinsburg apartment, and $889 for a relative's funeral in Baltimore.

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Several members of the club's board of directors, including President Chris Janelle and Vice President Mark Sutton, testified that the board authorized none of the purchases.

After the state rested its case at around 4 p.m. and jurors were allowed to leave for the day, Stanley's attorney, Keith Wheaton, made a motion for acquittal. He said Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely had not proven Stanley intended to defraud the club, and referred to a taped statement Stanley gave to police that was played in court.

In the statement, Stanley said he bought the cars to transport children who otherwise would have to walk to the club. He said he would pay for the cars if necessary, and apologized for forging Sutton's name on two checks.

"I'm not trying to take nothing from the club," Stanley said.

Janelle testified that club officials have used public buses to transport children to events, but never owned or planned to own its own cars because of liability concerns.

About midway through Janelle's testimony, Wilkes interrupted him and warned Stanley to stop muttering statements and to stop shaking his head.

Janelle said Stanley's actions caused the club's bank account to be overdrawn and that the club, at the corner of Queen and John streets, had to close for two weeks. Only volunteer efforts and pay cuts enabled it to re-open, he said.

Stanley was named the club's interim director in April 2002. He was charged with one count of embezzlement on Aug. 23, 2002. Additional charges were filed after the October 2003 grand jury session.

He was dismissed from his job not long after his arrest, Janelle said.

A new executive director, former Assistant Berkeley County Prosecutor Stefani Pierson, has since been hired.

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