Former Whiteland Fire Dept. employee accused of theft


JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind.–The former Secretary Treasurer of the Whiteland Fire Department was arrested Wednesday for five counts of theft totaling nearly $50,000. Between January 14, 2013 and August 8, 2017, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office alleges that Divonna Hendrickson, 52, of Whiteland, wrote checks to her personal bank account from three different fire department accounts.

Former Whiteland Fire Chief Dale Gabbard resigned on July 1, 2017, but members of the new administration discovered that Gabbard’s signature appeared on checks dated July 27, 2017. This detail led the Whiteland town manager to suspect that Hendrickson, who had the authority to sign Gabbard’s name, might be recording false information in the department’s checkbooks to offset the internal theft.

Whiteland Police Chief Rick Schipp requested the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office to proceed with the investigation. Banking records from the Whiteland Fire Department and the personal accounts of Shawn and Divonna Hendrickson were then subpoenaed. Five counts of theft totaling $49,300.10 were discovered. Hendrickson is accused of writing a total of 68 unauthorized checks in former Chief Gabbard’s name, to which he claimed to have known nothing.

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