Former senior center director arrested

Alleged activity began on third day of the job

By Kevin Spradlin

The former director of the Hamlet Senior Center has been arrested and charged with embezzlement of funds by public officers and trustees and obtaining property by false pretenses.

Donna Gail McMillan-Aiken, 34, was suspended by City Manager Marcus Abernethy on Jan. 12. Aiken resigned three days later. She was arrested, fingerprinted and released on a written promise to appear. McMillan-Aiken is scheduled to appear on March 19 in Richmond County District Court.

McMillan-Aiken was arrested Feb. 27 for allegedly using a city credit card “for her personal use and benefit.” According to the warrant for her arrest signed by Magistrate Danita B. McNeill, McMillan-Aiken began using the credit card “for her personal use and benefit” two days after her start date. The alleged improprieties continued more than 16 months until Jan. 12, 2015.

Donna Aiken

Donna McMillan-Aiken

“Our employee made a series of purchases with city funds that were undoubtedly personal,” Abernethy told The Pee Dee Post on Wednesday in a phone interview. These items were not for the Hamlet Senior Center but for the individual’s personal use. This is very unfortunate and disappointing, especially when this was done by one of Hamlet’s employees.”

Abernethy noted that McMillan-Aiken is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Still, he said the city is moving forward and “are continually reviewing our purchasing policies and procedures for increased oversight so this can be caught even sooner.”

Abernethy said city officials hope the deterrent is so high that “these situations do not happen.”

City officials turned over records pertaining to the allegations on Jan. 15 to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Abernethy said it was important to ensure the investigation was “fair and impartial.”

McMillan-Aiken previously worked for Richmond County Schools as a substitute teacher, accordingly to her profile on a business networking site, and as an instructor at Richmond Community College. She also worked for American Express as a credit analyst. She began work for the city on July 30, 2013 with an ending salary of $34,372. Her interim replacement, Channon Fowler, began work the day after Aiken resigned.

Abernethy said the city received nearly 30 applications to fill the vacancy. The field of candidates has been narrowed down to five, who will begin being interviewed “sometime in the coming weeks.”

Filed in: Latest Headlines

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  • Pat Webb

    What is wrong with these young folks today? If it isn’t yours leave it alone, if you don’t work for it, you can not have it!

    • Truth teller 2

      Innocent until proven guilty still applies in this country to include this county. County employees and city employees who utilize equipment and or vehicles for personal use,ie,shopping at Walmart,paying bills,etc, are committing a form of embezzlement as well. Don’t judge unless you know the facts.

  • momatad

    second woman from Richmond County to be charged with embezzlement in the last two days………what’s going on in this county?

  • Legolas

    What a shame

  • unknown

    Notice however the city of Hamlet actually produced actual evidence of funds being used for personal use whereas the other lady accused of embezzlement has a mugshot and every other word stated by the employer was “allegedly” I guess it truly is all about who you know.

    • Sue

      Agree! Nice “Mug” shot! Why did they not embarrass humiliate and post her picture like they did the other lady who was obviously torn up over the situation. She sure wasn’t smiling! Point blank evidence is one thing but all this allegedly mess from Mrs. Arnold? Sounds too much like someone else had their hands in stuff. I sure would not want to be on the tail end of that outcome!.

      • Kevin Spradlin

        Regarding what type of photo the PDP used, it’s rather simple – we used what was available.

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