The Taylor County Sheriff's Department has arrested a member of the Taylor County Fair Board after he embezzled nearly $1,500 from the fair, according to Taylor County Prosecutor John Bord.
Michael Joseph Knotts, 41, of Grafton is accused of breaking into the Taylor County Fair Grounds using a key he was given. After entering the secured gate, he entered a building on the fair grounds through an unlocked door, then kicked in an interior door to enter the room where the money is kept in a locked filing cabinet, according to a criminal complaint filed by Taylor County Sheriff's Department Captain Randall J. Durrett.
Knotts used a pry bar to open the drawer where the money was kept, then took a black First Community Bank bag containing approximately $1,422.75 and multiple checks from different fair vendors. Knotts knew where the bag was kept because he had brought the money into the office earlier that day, according to court documents.
Knotts told deputies that he spent the money on alcohol, gambling, taking his family to eat at Outback Steak House, and buying $80 worth of Victoria's Secret merchandise. Knotts ripped up the checks and threw them in the garbage outside the Pub III at the Crislip Motor Lodge, said the complaint. The black money bag containing $523 and the Victoria's Secret merchandise were later found at Knotts home, said Durrett. The pry bar was found in Knotts' 2009 Kia sedan.
Knotts is charged with grand larceny and is being arraigned by a Taylor County Magistrate.