Planning commission member charged with embezzlement

Booking photo from Houston County Jail.
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Dothan (WTVY)-- A member of the Dothan Planning Commission faces charges of stealing about $2700 from a business though her attorneys claims she innocent. Police arrested 51-year old Gayla White Monday night on First Degree Theft of Property charges.

Police Lt. Lynn Watkins said the owner of Windmill Station filed the complaint against White, claiming she stole the money over a period of several months, beginning late last year. Windmill Station is a special event venue in Dothan.

"Ms. White isn't guilty of these charges.She gave two weeks notice that she was ending her employment and had concerns regarding withholding taxes and the business refusing to give her tax-related paperwork," attorney Joey Sheffield told WTVY. He also said Windmill Station wouldn't return personal items to White.

He claims her arrest is retaliation by the owner and Sheffield blames Dothan police with not properly investigating the matter. "We asked investigators to come to my office and look at evidence that would vindicate Ms. White and they refused."

White is a former Dothan school board member, current Dothan Planning Commission member and is also on the board of Wiregrass 211, a non-profit agency.

"Ms White has resigned as a board member at 2-1-1. We are not aware of any fiscal issues with our Wiregrass 2-1-1 program," Executive Director David Duke said in statement.

She was released from the Houston County Jail on $30,000 bond.

(This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. to reflect 2-1-1 statement.)