Just days after her resignation as a Waldron city council member, Paige Cupit, 25, may face up to four counts of theft of property, a misdemeanor, for suspicion of embezzlement from Dalton’s Place Assisted Living. According to a police report narrative by Waldron Police Department Detective Horacio Gonzalez, Cupit admitted to her supervisor, Morena Howell, that the funds on a resident’s trust fund ‘“won’t match” when she would make the attempt to balance the account. When asked why by Howell, Cupit responded, “I’m having money problems.”
Immediately following the admission by Cupit, Howell contacted her supervisor about the situation and was advised that a corporate accountant would be on location. After conducting a full audit, Christie Davis called Howell to confirm the amount of dollars that were missing and to whom they belonged to. The findings of the audit showed a discrepancy of funds with four resident trust funds. One trust fund was minus $10, another $50, $132 and $510.
Cupit explained that monies had been removed from the trust funds since August of 2018, but she “has always been able to put the money back.” Cupit also added that she was “planning to put the money back in the four victim’s trust funds” when she got paid. During the interview with Gonzalez, Cupit estimated the amount taken from the four trust funds totaled $1260. She stated she had “made a mistake” and had full intentions of paying the money back. According to Howell, Cupit brought in $925 cash and her husband brought in an additional $937. Written receipts were provided to both parties for their reimbursement.
“In late January, we became aware of a discrepancy in the Resident Trust Fund at Dalton’s Place at Waldron. A thorough audit was conducted by our accountants and it was determined that funds totaling less than $1,500 were missing. The funds have been replaced and appropriate safeguards have been implemented to ensure this does not happen again,” Lori Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Dalton’s Place said. She continued, “We are deeply concerned about our resident’s physical and financial well-being and their trust was violated. This is unacceptable conduct by any standards.”
Soon after her termination with Dalton’s Assisted Living Place, Cupit resigned from her responsibilities at Sodie Davidson Park followed by a Feb. 6 resignation as an elected council member of Ward III, Position II. In the letter addressed to Mayor David Millard and other council members, Cupit stated “Due to the declining health of my grandmother, I am making arrangements for my family to move to her home which is not only outside my ward, but outside the City limits. My resignation will be effective immediately…My commitment to my family is paramount to me. I will, however, continue to support my community and hope to serve in other capacities as time allows me under the current circumstances.”
At time of press, the investigation was still active and case information was sent to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
***The written information is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.