- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - The Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce has filed a counterclaim against the city’s former tourism director, who sued the chamber after she said she was wrongfully terminated.

Kate Kelly claims she was wrongly fired last year because she reported former Chamber Executive Director David Moore’s alleged embezzlement of chamber funds, the Tahlequah Daily Press (http://bit.ly/1Lyvm80 ) reported.

The chamber denies Kelly’s assertions in its Tuesday counterclaim and said that she “threatened and coerced” Moore for years to obtain cash that she used for her own benefit.

The chamber contends Kelly “wrongfully received, obtained, converted or appropriated $2,524.69” from its coffers between 2009 and 2014, but acknowledges she “has not yet been formally charged with a crime.”

Kelly had served for 10 years as tourism director before she was fired.

The chamber also filed a cross-claim against Moore on Tuesday, accusing him of making more than 1,000 ATM withdrawals from the chamber bank account between 2009 and 2014 and costing the chamber more than $439,000.

Moore is accused of using the money at casinos, racetracks and on online gaming websites, as well as to pay for his own personal bills. The chamber claims he also wrote himself extra payroll checks.

Moore has pleaded not guilty to an embezzlement charge. He is set to appear for a preliminary hearing later this year.

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Information from: Tahlequah Daily Press, http://www.tahlequahdaailypress.com

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