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Details released on arrest of chamber president

By Walter Geiger Chamber of Commerce president Emily Miller Rowland resigned her position Oct. 11. The resignation came just two days after her arrest for hindering an investigation. Rowland, 25, was arrested Oct. 9 and booked into the Lamar County jail. She was released shortly thereafter on a $1122 bond. The arrest came after Rowland allegedly misled investigators regarding the whereabouts and recovery of money that went missing from her office but later was returned. In a statement released Monday, Barnesville police chief investigator Capt. Al Moltrum said Rowland gave false statements during multiple interviews regarding the missing cash. On Sept. 27, Rowland reported $900 and a pair of her personal earrings had been stolen from her office at the chamber building. She told officers the theft occurred Sept. 25. The money belonged to the Kiwanis Club and was the proceeds of the ice tea vendor at Buggy Days. Rowland told investigators she waited to report the theft because she was trying to find the money. On Sept. 28, Rowland told officers she found the money and earrings on the walkway in front of the chamber office. ”We continued our investigation because a crime had been committed and only certain individuals had access to Rowland’s office the day the money was discovered to be missing,” Capt. Moltrum said. Officers continued to interview Rowland and other chamber employees and Rowland continued to tell the same story, Moltrum noted. On Oct. 9, Rowland’s husband was interviewed. He stated that he found the money at their residence on Sept. 28 and gave it to his wife. Rowland then admitted the money had been in her home and the earrings found in her bathroom. She was then arrested for hindering the investigation. Rowland returned the money to the Kiwanis Club on Sept. 28. ”We have been unable to determine why she chose to continue to give us a false statement,” Moltrum said. After Rowland’s resignation, the chamber issued a statement reporting it. “We appreciate all the hard work and effort Emily has put into this position and wish her well with a successful future,” the statement read in part. The chamber office is being run by administrative assistant Lynsey Corley with oversight from the executive committee. That committee consists of president Ernie Neubauer, vice-president Scott Mayfield, treasurer Jan Hatten and immediate past president Julia Ann Ridgeway.

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