Law enforcement officers were seen removing items Oct. 20 from Parker Town Hall and from Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer’s home upriver from Parker. They included deputies from the Yuma and La Paz County Sheriff’s Offices.
The Pioneer learned these officers were executing search warrants in regards to the investigation of allegations of embezzlement by a town employee.
“We did assist Yuma County and the Arizona Inspector General’s Office with the execution of search warrants this morning,” La Paz County Chief Deputy David Gray said in an e-mail to the Pioneer. “We are not the investigating agency and have no details regarding their on-going investigation.”
The Pioneer contacted Town Clerk Amy Putnam, but she declined to make any comments at this time.
Attempts by the Pioneer to contact Wedemeyer were not successful.
Parker Mayor Karen Bonds and Council Member Randy Hartless both said as of Oct. 21, they had no information on this matter.
"You know about as much as I do," Hartless said in a reply to an email from the Pioneer. Hartless has been a frequent critic of Wedemeyer.
A Town of Parker employee was terminated Friday, Sept. 24, amid unspecified allegations of embezzlement. The Arizona Auditor General’s Office interviewed the employee the previous day, Sept. 23. In a press release from the Town, it was stated the employee was terminated based on that interview and direct communication between Town administration and the employee.
Jennifer Alcaida has been mentioned in social media posts as the town employee under suspicion.
Police Chief Mike Bailey said the matter was being investigated by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office. He said the case is complicated, and, because of the individuals involved, the decision was made that an agency from outside La Paz County should handle the investigation.