LANCASTER — A Kentucky State Police detective is investigating a “possible misappropriation of funds” from a youth baseball organization in Garrard County.
Trooper Paul Blanton confirmed Tuesday that Sgt. Eric Gibson, who works for KSP’s Drug Enforcement Special Investigations, is continuing to look into allegations that money belonging to the Garrard County Parks and Recreation Board has been mishandled but declined further comment.
Last month, Gibson obtained permission from a Garrard County grand jury to subpoena bank records as part of his investigation into the board’s finances, according to the grand jury report.
Garrard Judge-Executive John Wilson said Tuesday he referred an allegation of “financial irregularities” he heard from an unnamed board officer to KSP in June.
“One of the officers made allegation of a criminal nature, financial in nature,” Wilson said. “I have no idea of how much money might be involved.”
Wilson said that, despite its name, the Garrard County Parks and Recreation Board is not an entity of county government; it is made up of residents who run the youth baseball program at the Lancaster-Garrard County Recreation Park on U.S. 27 south of Lancaster. The park is commonly referred to as Jaycees Park.
Both the county and city of Lancaster contribute $3,000 annually to help fund the organization, Wilson said, but neither government appoints members to the board or is involved in its operation.
“We don’t oversee their finances. We don’t appoint their board members,” he said. “It’s entirely independent of the city and county.”
“There is some taxpayer money involved, but it is only a small part of the operation,” he continued, adding that the group raises the majority of its money through participation fees, concession sales and other fundraisers.