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EXCLUSIVE: Former County Fair Manager Charged With Embezzlement

A former Arlington County employee has been charged with embezzling funds from the Arlington County Fair, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.

Denise Marshall Roller, 47, has been charged with four felony counts of embezzling from the non-profit Arlington County Fair, Inc., one felony count of embezzling public funds, two felony counts of forgery and four felony counts of conducting unlawful financial transactions. She was indicted by a grand jury in September and released on a $5,000 bond in October, according to court documents. She’s scheduled to face trial on Jan. 23, 2012.

Marshall Roller, a resident of Fredericksburg, Va., had worked as the county fair’s event manager since at least 2005. A county employee since August 2003, Marshall Roller worked for the fair under a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the non-profit that organizes the fair, said county and fair officials. Before being hired by the county, Marshall Roller helped to organize the annual Taste of Arlington event in Ballston.

Marshall Roller’s legal woes started in early May of 2011, when the fair’s Board of Directors discovered the alleged embezzlement, according to Arlington County Fair Board Chairwoman Tiffany Kudravetz. The Board brought the matter to the attention of Marshall Roller’s supervisor, Kudravetz said, and the matter was referred to the Arlington County Police Department.

In a statement emailed to ARLnow.com, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the county acted swiftly after the allegations came to light.

“The County acted immediately upon learning of allegations that Arlington County Fair funds had been misappropriated by a County employee,” Donnellan said. “It turned the matter over to the Arlington County Police Department and appropriate action was taken with the employee. After investigating, ACPD turned the results of its investigation over to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office. The employee is no longer with the County. The Grand Jury has handed down an indictment. This matter is now before the Court.”

The alleged crimes took place between February and May of this year, according to court documents. Prosecutors declined to disclose exactly how much was supposedly taken, but organizers say the fair is not currently in financial trouble.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Kudravetz said.

Marshall Roller resigned her position in May, county Director of Human Resources Marcy Foster told ARLnow.com. She had been working within the Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, according to county spokesman Mary Curtius. A new county-employed event manager took over for Marshall Roller in May.

The Arlington County Fair, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, went off without a hitch in August.

Kudravetz says fair organizers are considering a new Memorandum of Understanding that would eliminate the county-staffed event manager position in favor of placing several county employees on the fair’s board of directors.

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