LURAY ― A former secretary of the St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church is accused of swindling thousands of dollars from the Luray church over a six-year period.
On Monday, a Page County grand jury indicted Ellen Housden Fields, 51, of Luray, on 44 separate counts in connection with a string of embezzlements for amounts exceeding $200 each. Police say the incidents began in 2008 and continued through this year.
Each offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Fields, a Page County native, began working for Page County Public Schools in 1993 as an accounts payable clerk. She held the position until 2007, when she was promoted to clerk of the Page County School Board, a position she still holds, along with the position of director of transportation.
“Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation by the Luray Police Department, I cannot comment at this time,” Page County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Alger said following the indictment.
The pastor of St. Mark’s, R. Nicholas Eichelberger, could not be reached for comment.
Fields was freed on bond pending a July 28 hearing.