Kentville Justice Centre
By Kirk Starratt
A Kentville woman charged with theft over $5,000 from the Glooscap Variety Store, Gas Bar and Gaming room will be back in court in March for a preliminary hearing.
Robin Connell, 45, was charged in July, after the Glooscap First Nations completed an audit of finances in May and identified irregularities at the store. The business is owned by the band and is located at Glooscap First Nation south of Hantsport.
This information was sent to the Kings District RCMP. Police conducted an investigation in co-operation with Glooscap First Nation. The investigation determined that internal thefts occurred over the past year at the Glooscap store.
Defence lawyer David Lutz is representing Connell. During an appearance in Kentville Provincial Court on Oct. 15, Lutz waived reading of the charge on behalf of his client. Connell elected trial by judge and jury with a preliminary hearing.
Lutz said he had just received disclosure. Judge Alan Tufts adjourned the matter to March 12, 2014 for a preliminary hearing.
In an interview conducted after the charge was laid, Glooscap First Nation Chief Sidney Peters said Connell is not a band member and was employed at the business for less than three years. The business sells convenience and lunch items, tobacco, gasoline and has a room with video lottery terminals. Approximately 20 people are employed there.
Peters said the band conducts a financial audit every year and it was through it that discrepancies were discovered. They didn’t know what happened, how it happened or who was responsible, but a “substantial amount” of money was unaccounted for.
Peters said he double-checked with the auditors, asking them if they were sure the money was missing. After they verified there were discrepancies, the band contacted the RCMP to investigate.