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.

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