Ex-councillor asked aide to hand in £2,000, court told
A FORMER councillor accused of embezzling from a local organisation she worked for asked a colleague to return a bag with around £2,000 in it, a court heard.
Maureen Burke, 60, who was employed as Yvonne Kucuk’s personal assistant at the People’s Development Trust, said they had been out for a lunch with other colleagues during a time when Ms Kucuk was suspended.
She said that as they left, Ms Kucuk, 51, asked her to return a bag that had paperwork, a mobile phone and some money in it. Mrs Burke said she felt “a bit uneasy” and claimed Ms Kucuk told her she could not hand it in because she was going on holiday the next day.
The Labour councillor said she gave the bag to the then-manager of the trust Michael Kennedy, who counted the money and found around £2,000.
She was giving evidence at the trial of Ms Kucuk, from Calton, and William Faulds, 55, from Dalmarnock, who are accused of embezzling £8,690 between January 2015 and January 2016 from the trust.
The court heard Ms Kucuk was in charge of the People’s Development Trust, which provides facilities and services including numeracy and literacy classes to the local area of Dalmarnock.
Mr Faulds was project manager. The organisation was based in Baltic Street in Bridgeton before it moved to nearby Springfield Road, to what is known as the Legacy Hub.
The move took place as part of efforts aimed at regenerating the wider area.
In evidence the court was told various cheque stubs made out to cash were discovered but that there were no corresponding receipts or paperwork.
It also heard that, during an investigation, Ms Kucuk claimed the cash was used to pay a tutor for adult classes, and a gala day.
In evidence, Mrs Burke said she worked for the organisation for around two years.
She said that, over the few months when the move between the two offices took place, the business was “chaotic”.
Ms Kucuk’s defence lawyer, Brian Cooney, asked Mrs Burke if Ms Kucuk was someone she trusted.
She replied: “Yes.”
Ms Kucuk and Mr Faulds deny the charge. The trial, which is taking place before Sheriff Mary Mccrory, continues next month.
Councillor Yvonne Kucuk has denied embezzling funds.