JONESBORO, Ark. — Two officers of the Salvation Army of Jonesboro have been relieved of their duties after officials began investigating them for financial wrongdoing.
Lts. Curtis and Angela Sadler were told to leave the facility Wednesday and not return unless an internal investigation conducted by officials outside the region clears them of any wrongdoing, the Jonesboro Sun reported .
The investigation would be completed “as soon as possible,” said Capt. Thomas McWilliams, spokesman for the Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma, which is based in Oklahoma City and oversees operations in both states.
McWilliams said he didn’t know specifics of the allegations against the Sadlers but confirmed they involve claims of stolen money from donations kettles, theft of supplies and money laundering.
The Sadlers took over the Salvation Army of Jonesboro in 2016. The couple reported to police in December that five red kettles bell ringers used to collect donations at storefronts had been stolen. Curtis Sadler told officers the kettles were kept in a car overnight when they were taken. Police never recovered the missing money.
McWilliams said it is common practice to relieve Salvation Army directors during investigations and that it isn’t indicative of guilt. Officials are also meeting with Jonesboro Police to discuss the investigation, he said.
“I don’t think they will be coming back to Jonesboro though,” McWilliams said of the couple. “It would probably be better if they did not return regardless of the investigation’s outcome. There have been so many different rumors. I don’t think they could return and keep the public’s trust.”
The Jonesboro facility was closed Wednesday, and Salvation Army officials declined to mention the Sadlers’ current whereabouts.
The facility provides shelter for 12 men, four women and up to six people in a family room. It also serves meals to about 65 people a day and conducts church services. McWilliams said the meals and services will continue to be offered.