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Township official arrested for embezzlement

Donna Mae Goodsell

A woman employed as sexton for cemeteries in two Montcalm townships has been arrested for embezzlement.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, they conducted an ongoing investigation regarding embezzlement in Day and Evergreen Townships after a complaint was filed regarding financial record inconsistencies. They concluded that the embezzlement occurred between 2012 and 2017, and led to the arrest of a 60-year-old Fenwick woman.

The investigation revealed that Donna Mae Goodsell was employed by both townships to be the sexton of their cemeteries. Goodsell’s duties included the sale of plots, maintenance, opening and closing of graves sites, and contracting for the setting of headstone footings. Goodsell allegedly did not properly forward all of the funds she received from residents to the respective Townships.

On November 30, 2017, Goodsell turned herself in to the Sheriff’s Office and was arrested on two felony warrants. Goodsell is charged with one count of embezzlement from each of the townships and is currently out on bond. The maximum sentence for each charge is 5 years in prison.

“Thankfully, there is no evidence that individual citizens were overcharged. While the township governments did not receive the payments, no individuals appear to be victims,” said Sheriff Williams.

Goodsell’s next court date is Friday, December 8, 2017.

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