Group president charged with stealing from Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks

info@islandpacket.comJune 11, 2013 

William Grooms

The president of a nonprofit organization trying to build a dog park in Bluffton was charged today with allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from the group.

Bluffton resident William Grooms, 42, the president of the Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks, was arrested at about 8 a.m. this morning, according to a news release from the Bluffton Police Department. He was charged with breach of trust of over $10,000.

The charge stems from an investigation into missing funds from the Friends group, the release said. The investigation revealed that between June 2012 and this June, "Grooms used his access as the group's treasurer to remove funds for his personal use in excess of $10,000."

Breach of trust over $10,000 carries up to 10 years in prison or a fine at the court's discretion or both. Grooms is expected to have a bond hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Beaufort County Detention Center.

The Friends group has been raising money to build a dog park on 1.5 acres in Buckwalter Regional Park. It was a finalist last year in a national contest to win $100,000 in the PetSafe Bark for Your Park Contest. It is also competing for the award this year.

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