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Former Holland-area bus director arraigned on embezzlement charge

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Jun 12, 2018 at 8:01 PM

HOLLAND — A former Macatawa Area Transit (MAX) executive director was arraigned in court on Tuesday, June 12, for allegedly embezzling more than $20,000 from the Holland-area bus service.

A warrant was issued by Ottawa County District Judge Susan Jonas on May 31 for Linda LeFebre after the Holland Department of Public Safety opened an investigation against her in March. Another independent investigation was opened by MAX.

LeFebre, 53, resigned from her post on April 26 after being placed on leave in March.

On Tuesday, Jonas set LeFebre’s bond at $5,000. LeFebre was not taken into custody, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office website. Jonas set LeFebre’s next court appearance for July 3.

LeFebre has been the executive director of MAX since 2001. Since her resignation, the MAX board appointed operations manager Derek Broadbent and customer service and marketing manager Beth Higgs as co-directors. MAX has around 80 full-time and part-time employees, who are managed by the executive director, who then reports to the board.

According to its 2016 annual report, MAX had an annual revenue of $5.7 million, $1 million of which came from a tax levy on area residents.

MAX Board Chairman Russ TeSlaa said a search committee will be established to find a permanent replacement for LeFebre.

Embezzling more than $20,000 is a felony and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000, or three times the value of the embezzled property or money, whichever is a greater fine.

The Sentinel previously reported LeFebre received a raise in September 2017 following a positive performance review, which brought her annual salary to $80,120.

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