Treasurer In Embezzlement Case Vows To ‘Pay Back Every Penny’

The former Cedarville treasurer wants to “make things right” after taking a large amount of money from the city, she told 5NEWS in an exclusive interview.

State police are investigating Alicson Reding in an embezzlement case involving money that went missing from the City of Cedarville while she was the recorder-treasurer. Reding resigned from her position earlier this month, officials said.

Court documents state the former treasurer or her husband or a business associated with them received  almost 372-thousand dollars from the city over the last six years.

“We are sorry,” said Reding’s husband Brian Reding. I was unaware of it, it’s been really rough on me.”

Reding said she is fully cooperating with investigators and has learned her lesson.

“I fully intend to pay back every penny,” she said. “I feel guilty and have a hard time looking at myself.”

Reding said she didn’t know exactly how much money she took.

Reding said that amount is too high and will be proven wrong. No matter how much Reding stole, though, she is going to spend a long time trying to atone for her mistake, she said.

“We had bills, but I know that shouldn’t be an excuse,” Reding said. “I will still cry every day, but one day, I want people to remember I am (a) good person, just made a horrible mistake.”

Cedarville taxpayers have mixed opinions on the investigation.

“There’s just so much that goes on in a small town,” said local woman Gwen Rhea. “I never realized how corrupt everybody could be.”

“Everybody makes mistakes,” said Robert Jones.

No arrests have been made, while prosecutors sort through the investigation, said special prosecutor Jack McQuary. McQuary was appointed the special prosecutor in the case because Crawford County Prosecutor Marc McCune said he had a conflict.

Reding and McCune are listed as friends on Facebook.

94 comments

  • John Doe

    Sorry 5news but what does them two being friends on Facebook have anything to do with the case? Are you saying the prosecutor will go easy on her?

    • atc8824

      Crawford County is a very close community.We all know each other and/or played sports or our kids all go to school together.The police and prosecutor are like friends not police.

    • Anonymous

      Channel 5 wasn’t saying anything against them being FB friends. They were saying he opted to step down because he knew her personally and it was a conflict of interest. Very noble of him to do that. Some would claim they were being impartial when they really weren’t.

  • Anonymous

    He stepped down cause of conflict of interest which in my opinion is the best thing to do. McCune and Reding have children that go to school together and play sports together. So him appointing a special prosecuter should show the citizens of Crawford county that it don’t matter how well you know the prosecuter if your in the wrong he wil step aside and allow the ssystem to do its job.

    • atc8824

      Agreed Mark McCune is a fair man.Glad to know he’s honest.I still think Van Buren should be audited because all our tax money is being spent but on what?Why is our taxes higher than Fort Smith and they have three time more stuff to take care of than we have and there is lots of people in Crawford County plus our real estate taxes are outrageous and keep going higher.Why?

      • Reese Dumas

        I lived in Van Buren for a decade and truly wonder what exactly does the city do with all money they get. VBPD has bought 4 Taurus that I know of and the County Sheriff’s bought 2 Explorers, at least 4 Ram 4dr trucks and a slick top Tahoe, but yet dirt just started getting moved around where the new p.d. is to be built from a sales tax from 2 years ago, and the Sheriffs department was put on probation twice for overcrowding because new vehicles are needed more than a jail and bigger police department. This county and the people running it need to step out of whatever time warp they’re in and get wit 2014. Shouldn’t have to use big brothers(State Troopers) dogs either. Fort Smith has around 4, VB could at least have one. I ride along with FSPD all the time, so I know a great deal about functionality in police departments and never have I understood the Van Buren Police.

  • atc8824

    I’m not saying she is guilty or innocent but seeing how it is Cedarville I would do a very close investigation and make sure she isn’t going down for somebody else’s crime.Before you start saying I must know her I have never saw the woman before now.

    • Ps

      act8824 she already admitted to doing it so you don’t have to speculate whether she did it or not. I’m tired of people like her who had a decent job making a decent amount of money and it just wasn’t enough for her. So many people have a sense of entitlement today. You deserve that house you really can’t afford, the latest model of vehicle to show up at church to, the latest electronics for their kids, or buying them a new car instead of making them work for it. I have bills too but I don’t still from the taxpayers or anyone else to pay them. I’m sure she will just get off with a slap on the wrist and ordered to pay some of the money back and I’m sure Mark McCune probably put in a good word for her to the other prosecuter. People make your kids be accountable for what they do and don’t buy them everything they want. Give them a sense of drive and work ethic. Let them know what it’s like to work for something and have to sacrifice or save to get it. If not, you raise people like her who feel they are entitled to it no matter the cost.

    • Happy, happy, happy

      Contrary to popular belief…..Brian and Alicson are not the owners of C and C Catfish Restaurant. Allicson’s mom and dad own the restaurant.

  • Happy, happy, happy

    The conflict of interest with McCune is probably from her mother, Beverly Pyle, being a state Representative,and now the Treasurer of Crawford County.

      • Happy, happy, happy

        oh it is true….check it out…call the crawford county court house, if you don’t believe me. Alicson also was cheerleading sponsor at Cedarville school, and was in charge of the “Pirate Plunge” activity to raise money for the Seniors to have a night of fun, rather than be on the highway after graduation.

    • Happypansie

      Just hope funds are not gathered at the CC Treasurer office to help the pay back she is so certain of.

  • Blueskiestoday

    “I want people to remember I am (a) good person, just made a horrible mistake.”

    She makes it sound like she made one mistake, when in reality she made a horrible mistake, over and ,over, and over, and over, and over, etc.

    If the stolen money runs in to hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes a long time to bleed that much money from a business or school.

    Can’t trust anyone these days.

  • lockherup

    I don’t see how she learned her lesson when all she has done is be caught in it. If she hadn’t been caught she would still be doing it. You only learn a lesson once you are actually punished for what you did, and I hope she serves some time. What she actually is is embarrassed because she was so well known in the community. She is crying and wanting forgiveness in hopes she can go back to being thought of in the same way she used to be, but it won’t happen. With some maybe but not the majority.

  • MAD,MAD,MAD

    For those of you SYMPHONIZING with this woman!!! Hello Reality Check! This money that was stolen was your money!!! The city of Cedarville does not collect city tax. This stolen money was from county and state and possible federal grant monies. She stole for the whole County and State and maybe the United States.
    That hard earned money you work for to pay the taxes you cannot afford she just took it from you plain and simple and I am not ok with that. So those out there that feels sorry for her need to rethink their priorities. You can spend some more of your money to pay off her debt; I do not want to spend anymore of mine on her. This is a crime one that is worthy of punishment. I hope an example is set on her behalf. I am fed up all the” Just swept it under the rug” and “payoffs “and “poor, poor girl” WAKE UP!!!

  • Emily Kimball

    She also owns Alicson’s Wonderland on Broadway in Van Buren. everything is so expensive there (diaper bag: $130) so why did she need to steal money? Doesn’t make sense. hope things get straightened out and fixed and made right again.

    • Ginger

      Sometimes people embezzle money from one business to support another that is not doing so well. She probably wanted to look like a successful woman but in all honesty didn’t know how to run multiple businesses. Don’t feel sorry she had a chance to quit and come clean. How many years does it take to steal that much money? I think her mom needs to be investigated to if she is the County Treasure. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • sean

    The mayor stated she feels ‘no responsibiity’ for what happened. Only one person needed then to sign checks, and the treasurer was also the treasurer a few short years ago when the then mayor was charged with embezzeling money. Cedarville wants a 1% sales tax now for more money. I hope the entire city council, and city in general gets investigated by the state.

  • Xx

    We need to reevaluate how we deal with white collar criminals. This lady can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from an entire town and she will probably only get probation. Whereas, someone gets caught with pot will serve more time than she will. How is what she did any diiferent than robbing a bank? The outcome is the same.

  • pointing fingers

    Well I can say that she DOES NOT own Alicson’s Wonderland and never has! Her mother owned that store and she ran it for her, but Beverly sold that almost 2yrs ago, so get your facts straight people. And it is easy for all of you to sit back and pass jugement on everyone else but maybe you should look at all the secreats you are keeping and work on those first. She may have done wrong but she has admitted to her wrong doing and is working to make things right. Can you all say the same thing?

    • Xx

      Pointing fingers so we should just forget about this and sweep it under the rug? Owning up to something you did doesn’t make things right. It’s good to admit when you’re wrong but you also have to accept the consequences of your actions. You can’t just apologize to hope you don’t get punished.

    • Fed up

      Next time someone commits a crime all they have to do is say they made a mistake. That should take care of all of our overcrowding in the jails. As long as they know they made a mistake it’s OK. You must be a relative to defend her. She just like all the other people that are caught embezzling. They are always sorry once they get caught. If they had not been caught they would still be doing it. Maybe she stole from her Mother’s business.

    • knowingmore

      Alicson’s Wonderland was never sold but passed on to Beverly’s daughter in law! They couldn’t sell it!

  • lockherup

    It doesn’t matter if she is “making things right”. She committed a CRIME and should be given the penalty for that whatever it may be. Should we let all the criminals out who say the are going to “make things right”? If someone stole from you I’m sure you would press charges. Just because someone cries and says they are sorry after being caught doesn’t mean they don’t have to face the consequences of their actions. Being embarrassed is not enough punishment. If you do the crime be prepared for whatever you get. Instead of the above statement she should have said, “Yes. I dd it. I stole from the people of Cedarville. I deserve whatever punishment is fitting for the crime I have committed.” That is taking responsibility. Crying and looking for forgiveness and sympathy is not. She had fun with all of our tax dollars. She can spend some of mine in jail now.

  • Sarah Dell

    I have bills too. But I work to pay them. That wasn’t a sincere apology. She wants leniency. If you can pay it all back why was it taken in the first place?

    • To FedUp

      I agree! She doesn’t know how much she took and has somehow learned her lesson. She’s only embarrassed. I think she’s confusing the two. She’s upset people are saying mean things because she has kids and what not….well that’s what happens when you break the law. I just thought the whole story reminded me of something my kid would say or do to avoid punishment….

  • joesumone

    Wah! Wah! Woe is me! I vow to pay every penny back. Just don’t put me in prison!

    Too late. If you are found to be guilty of stealing the PUBLIC’S money, then you need to spend time with Bernice in the state klink.

    What was Cedarville NOT able to do with the missing money? That is something the residents of Cedarville need to be asking.

    • saywhat?

      knew her in school…always acted like she was better than everyone. guess you’re not are you?

  • we'vehadit

    At lastnight’s meeting the Mayor claimed this is a routine audit, that the books are audited every year that would mean all the money was STOLEN in 1 year’s time! The mayor claims she is in no way responsible, she IS responsible!! After the last mayor stole $10,000 from the people of Cedarville, the first thing she should have done is instituted safeguards to make this sort of thing an impossability! Failing to do so only shows her (and the council’s) gross incompitence. What does it matter how many grants she applies for when the taxpayers money is being stolen. I applaud the prosecutor for stepping aside in this case but if the last case was any example she will get a spanking and probation. Let you or I steal a fraction of what she has done and you will be in prison!

    • yearly audit

      There is a yearly audit in Cedarville because every year there is money found to be stolen. The mayor stated in her “open office off the record” meeting her and Alicson had to sign the checks. And the mayor will not step down even if she herself was charged. Why would you say that unless you were worried you might be. But being both of them had to sign the checks she is just as guilty. But it happened on her watch I believe there should be a recall election to get her out. Also when someone steps down they hold secret meetings and vote people into the position. I know I wouldn’t want to be the treasurer. But they don’t even look at the bank statements or where what was spent… I do that in my house hold why would a city not especially when monthly bills are as stated only $6,000.00 a month.

  • Kim

    Wow yah sounds like she has been off
    Living a good expensive life with the tax
    Payers money and I agree she is only
    Sorry because she got caught that’s it!
    Now she needs to be punished – people
    That know her will say embarrassment
    Is enough but to me this is no different
    Then any other crime deserving of
    Some real jail time!

  • Lori

    Why don’t everybody wait and see what her punishment is first before you say there were no consequences for her actions?

    • Happy, happy, happy

      Google what happened to Danny Armstrong, former mayor, when he was convicted of embezzling money from the city of Cedarville. He got house arrest for 6 months, and a few years suspended sentence. The article did not indicated whether or not he had to repay the monies embezzled. We can probably get a pretty good idea of what her sentence will be, if she is convicted of the crime she has admitted to.

  • taxpayer

    If she had robbed a bank, what would her punishment be? I can’t help but want to go back to “CANING”! She needs at least 5 licks, pay back the monies plus interest!!! If Caning was done, there would be NO overcrowding in the prisons and jails!

  • bigger issues

    I live in the Cedarville community and my kids are the same age as her kids. I don’t think it’s my place to comment on the issue of stealing money. The state will handle that. I do feel like I should say that though we are not friends she has ALWAYS taken my kids to sporting events with her kids when I couldn’t. She coached my daughter in cheer for 3 years and always had her best interest at heart. She has volunteered at EVERY school function, class party, and little league sporting even I can remember. Every human makes mistakes! Some bigger than others. She will have to deal with the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life. I don’t feel like its our place to bash her character. Also if people want to talk about who is doing what in Cedarville…Lets get something going on the entire police department. Like who allowed a man who’s side job is to vend meth pipes become a cop? Shouldn’t this be a conflict of interest? Shouldn’t we a citizens of Cedarville start looking at the BIGGER picture and have someone come in and clean up every corner or our tiny community!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree with you! The state will take care of it as soon as the audit is done. She has also helped me out many many times with my children and has coached my daughter in cheer. She is always there for the best interest of the children. Yes she made a huge mistake but honestly how many can say they have never made a mistake no matter how big or small? I knowing can’t! I’ve made my fair share of them. “He without sin cast the first stone” I’m not by any means saying there shouldn’t be a punishment but I am saying I as a Christian can not judge hers sin cause I too have fallen short and have sinned. I will love the person but hate the sin.

      • Kim

        Of course people make mistakes, but
        Rarely are people who have good moral
        Character and know right from wrong able
        To out right STEAL money for as long as
        She did capable of doing this… She is
        Not a child anymore. Adult mistakes are more
        Like overdrafting your checking account!
        So this was no mistake it was on purpose
        And a crime and she knowingly stole
        Our money!!!!

    • Joe

      There are also some really good people in this community that smoke pot! But if they get caught with an ounce of stuff for personal use, they get jail time, a fine, probation, and treated like a criminal for the rest of their life. So who is the criminal? A thief is a thief. It doesn’t matter if they stole your vcr for crack money or your tax money for their own personal use. And two faced makes it worse. “I’m nice and help people out………” /”of their money…….” ! Not the kind of person I want to be associated with. Also, way to go setting an example for the kiddos!

  • Dora

    Go to jail. Common thief. I hope it isn’t a ‘who you know’ sentence but the same jail time a man robbing a bank would receive.

    • saywhat?

      I will say it again..she always acted like she was better than everyone and her mother was even worse. Cedarville was never known for it’s wealthy families..for this little toad to steal from the people who struggle so much…..she should more than be ashamed. Volunteer…yeah, when you’re stealing money from hardworking taxpayers, sure you don’t have to work to pay your bills and you can volunteer for everything..I for one actually miss many of my children’s school activities because I work…you know, at a job..where I pay taxes htat are apparently up for grabs to sleazy little toads. Those who are defending her…give me a break..she’s a thief. Anyone know how much Danny stole? Her punishment should be in accordance with her crime.

  • Kim

    The long comment on her character of
    Running your kids around and things
    Seems to me that she was using tax
    Payers money to be able to do that
    And volunteering that’s all great but
    Doesn’t hide that fact that honest people
    Who have real character have a conscious
    And there would be no way to steal
    Money for as long as she did! So
    Come on people have a right to be upset
    About this she brought it on herself.

  • Pirate

    The previous mayor’s embezzelment was supposedly repaid. Not by the bond that’s supposed to cover these kinds of situations, but rather someone made a backroom deal allowing to him to work for the city to pay off his debt. The work: substandard, untrained, road grading. Looked like a blind man graded my road! I think the city would have been much better off getting the thousands of dollars back in cash, not this trade out of his time. I wonder if Allison can drive a grader?

  • Realist!!

    Cedarville has a possible “Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars” to steal?? I find that very amuzing that a cash strapped city has that laying around to be embezzeled.

  • Justice to be Fair for ALL

    1) Why has she not been arrested, especially, since she already admitted to the crime, and 2) part of her sentence, besides jail time, should be restitution, period. It is time to treat all criminals fairly. This good ole’ boys network, having money, political power, etc. needs to cease. If you do the crime, you do the time.

    • Happy, happy, happy

      “Paying back every penny” might have more connotations than money. She might mean (1) supplying information on others? (2) Doing community service? (3) Serving time in jail? Or in some other way “pay back every penny “. Who knows, I don’t know how her brain functions. Of course I can’t for the life of me figure out how someone could commit this CRIME to start with when her children are the ones who have to live with the shame the rest of their lives.

      • sean

        I would like to see her spill her guts on WHO ELSE was involved in this. I’m sure it goes beyond one person.

  • dirty deeds

    I’m sorry I don’t believe her husband when he said he knew nothing about her taking the money. How could he not know where a lot of money came from when he knew they did not make that amount? Would not surprise me if he was not in on it too.

    • Pirate

      I’m sure the husband was in on it. He has “won” more than one bid on city projects and profited from his wife being on the board. A lower bid was passed on for mowing and he got the job. I believe he also was paid to repair the flood damage to the ditch in front city hall, more than once. There is a rich history of family members getting jobs and contracts from the city government, and not just these two.

  • Larry

    Oh please. What kind of stupid are you thinking the Feds hand out anything except to their friends at the fed level. No one cares about ignorant little towns in a small southern state that didn’t support their democratic agendas.

    • life is good

      Yea theres plenty of bankers in power for that Larry. Don’t forget how we bailed out banks and corporations because they wasn’t handling their money right and that was signed into law while Bush was in office. That’s an example of the good ole’ boy network on a larger scale.

  • Larry

    These folks and the news people must have mixed up the case of Mark Anthony Townsend from Cedarville. He is on the district 4 fire department still. Walking among the masses with 5921 counts of felony charges and $350,000+ that he bilked for people on the Internet. Hacking into emails with the fire depts computer at the county courthouse. His wife still works at the school as a bookkeeper.

  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Has anyone been arrested yet? Why have she or the mayor, the only two people that sign checks and must have both signatures to write checks, been arrested? Would the mayor not be accountable or funds missing as well?

  • sean

    Mayor claims NO RESPONSIBILITY for missing funds. Obviously she never looked at books or to whom the checks were written. Neither did the rest of the council. Now the city wants to have a picnic for everyone that, in their words, ‘will bring everybody together’. Wonder where the money for that is coming from!! Yes, I’m mad as hell. Papers or tv not telling eveything, and on mayor’s fb page she makes it clear that unless you’re saying how great she is your post will be taken off as she is the administrator. Every CORRUPT government, from Assad to Obama and now to Cedarville, has it’s supporters or it would not continue. This is only the tip of the ice-burg.

  • facebook

    There is a new group also named Cedarville, Arkansas in and around so it easily found for open discussions and anything pertaining to the area it will not be heavily monitored. Just remember anything you say online is there forever and don’t get to rude. No ban hammer just be mindful.

  • Larry

    Or the mayor? The question was never asked of the mayor. The question was if the mayor and council would step down.

  • Larry

    …. When the numbers were in. Mayor say couldn’t speak for the council, but would not unless charged. Get your facts straight!

  • Larry

    Let’s convict them all in the news. The investigation is not over. Let everyone do their job first and see who’s at fault. Geez!!!!

  • Larry

    Seems whoever doesn’t like the fb page must have been slapped for not being polite. Saw that too after their meeting. Why does the old fire department have computer hackers on their department, still? What purpose does that serve? Hmmmm

  • Larry

    You know the old jokes, “how many …. Does it take?”. Eel how many crooks and thieves does it take to operate a rural fire department. Shop lifting, stealing from children’s little league, 10 felony counts of theft in another county? Oh yes the perfection of that organization is up there on top!

    • Larry

      ask at the school why this group of fine citizens are no longer allowed to participate with the little league. Little league was actually shut down for a time when funds went missing. Funny how Cash can’t be traced. no reciepts no equipment left. YUP. but they can fight fires (thank goodness, I guess).
      Heard they are not longer allowed at the Boys and Girls club either. HMMMM. Lets set them up to run the city!hahaha all kinds of stupid up in them there woods.

  • missing funds

    Wasn’t this woman over the funds for little league when they went missing…..? I don’t know serious question.

  • Chewy

    Do people really think you could get that much money and not get caught, but no one even knows how much is gone ! Guessing again as usual! I noticed no bashing on the wife of the fireman that stole l that money and she still has a job at our school here! I heard the lady from city her husband was fired ! So is it ok to not speak of the horrific crime the firefighter did against unknown victims, hacking there emails and sling them! Boy people choose which crimes are ok and don’t talk about them because there chief is a police officer! And was a county seargeant ! But let’s just bash the lady!!!

    • Larry

      You got it Chewy. The fire department guy had 5921 felony counts! Wow. But we will protect him and his family and beat up the lady. It takes a certain kind of stupid to think his international gang crime is less of a risk to this community! And what makes anyone think he hasn’t hacked your computers or phones and sold your info? Hmmm

  • Larry

    I don’t know why anyone would ask a group of firefighters to their home knowing the theieces that work for them. Even the area water department caught them stealing water and filling people’s pools for pay.

  • Larry

    Funny how the silence happens when the real life drama comes out about this rural fire group gets attention for their “mistakes”.

    • Pirate

      Silence is because teh fire dept is not the story here. Go find the news story about that crime, and comment over and over on it, maybe someone will listen over there. Let’s stay on topic.

  • Larry

    Oh hit a nerve. I believe it is topic since you are talking theft in Cedarville. The rural fire department is chocked full of thieves. And has been swept under the rug. These people go into your homes on emergency calls. I don’t blame the folks in the city asking for a new fire department. There is too much going on with illegal activity in that dist 4 department. JS

    • Pirate

      Again, you’re making my point. The volunteer fire dept does not serve the city of Cedarville. This is a news story about the Cedarville city council, not the rural volunteer fire dept. There’s no nerve to hit, I was just growing weary of your multiple off topic posts, but, go ahead, have a ball with it.

  • Larry

    Thanks. Pirate. Glad to have your permission. Thank goodness they don’t anymore. But watch out! They are itchin’ to come back Cedarville. Then hide your stuff. Thievin’! That’s all they know

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