Clarkston councilwoman indicted for embezzlement

A federal grand jury has indicted Clarkston City Councilwoman Joan Swaney for allegedly embezzling more than $50,000 in funds from the Clarkston Community Center.

Swaney used the money to help pay for family vacations, medical bills, personal car repairs, a boat charter and other personal expenses, the indictment said.

Swaney wrote checks to herself from the community center’s bank account, the indictment said. She also forged the signature of the center’s director on checks and then deposited those forged checks into her personal account, the indictment said.

The community center, which was established in 1994, identified the missing funds during an internal audit conducted in 2012, the indictment said.

Swaney, whose terms ends this December, served as the city’s vice mayor in 2012. She also served as the Clarkston Community Center’s office manager from 2003 until December 2012.

Swaney, who could not be reached for comment, was elected to the city council in 2010.

The city council’s website says Swaney is a retired executive assistant who has lived in Clarkston for 35 years. Her personal motto: “Live with purpose, act with character.”