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Tea Fire Secretary Charged With Grand Theft

April 20, 2012, 11:43 AM by Ben Dunsmoor
Updated: April 20, 2012, 2:24 PM

Tea Fire Secretary Charged With Grand Theft
TEA, SD -

The bookkeeper for the Tea Volunteer Fire Department has been arrested and charged with grand theft.

Forty-six-year-old Denae Baustian faces one felony count of aggravated grand theft over $100,000, money she's is accused of taking from the fire department.

KELOLAND News spoke with the Lincoln County State's Attorney's Office and officials with the Tea Fire Department about the case this afternoon and learned Baustian, who was also a volunteer firefighter until recently, is accused of taking more than $170,000 over two years. 

Dale Cook took over as President of the Tea Volunteer Fire Department in October and discovered the financial problems while becoming more familiar with the department's accounts.  That's when an audit was done and authorities were contacted about the discrepancies.

Cook says the department was blindsided by the discovery.  We'll tell you how investigators say she hid the financial problems later today.

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