Wake hospice board member charged with embezzlement

Board leader accused of taking over $100,000

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comNovember 9, 2012 

— A longtime board member of the Hospice of Wake County turned herself in to police Friday afternoon, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the law firm where she was employed.

Susan P. Rouse, 64, of 6520 Wynbrook Way, is charged with one felony count of embezzlement, according to police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Investigators have accused Rouse of embezzling “in excess of $100,000” from the law offices of Nicholls & Crampton, at 3700-500 Glenwood Ave. She became the target of a police investigation in mid-October, Sughrue said.

Sughrue declined to give an actual dollar amount Rouse is suspected of stealing, but said investigators think she started embezzling from the law firm nine years ago.

No one at Nicholls & Crampton could be reached for comment Friday night.

Several years ago, Hospice of Wake County paid tribute to Rouse’s work as a longtime fundraiser and board member by naming part of its home at 205 Hospice Circle, the Susan P. Rouse Administrative and Community Services Center.

John Thoma, chief executive officer of Wake County Hospice, could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Last week, Thoma announced in a letter to staff and volunteers that Rouse had resigned from the agency’s board of directors and board of trustees.

Thoma stated in the letter that Rouse had been fired from her employer for taking funds, but he emphasized the allegations of criminal misconduct were “completely outside of her relationship with Hospice of Wake County and we have strict controls in place that would prevent that.

“There are still many unanswered questions that we do not know. Hopefully they will be answered in time pending the [police] investigation,” wrote Thoma, who added that he was “shocked’ by the news of Rouse’s pending arrest.

The investigation remains ongoing, Sughrue said.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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