Police: General manager of historic tavern stole nearly $70K

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BEREA, Ky. (AP) — Thegeneral manager of a historic tavern in Kentucky has been accused of stealing nearly $70,000 from the business and then gambling it away.

James Smock, 57, was charged with theft by taking from Boone Tavern, a historic hotel and restaurant, Berea police spokesperson Amanda Chitwood said in a news release Tuesday.

Detectives determined Smock stole almost $64,000 from daily deposits and nearly $4,000 from the house bank where money was stored, Chitwood said.

Smock has refused to speak with detectives, Chitwood said, but police obtained a warrant and arrested him Feb. 9.

A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for Wednesday, the Courier Journal reported.

The complaint warrant states Smock admitted to gambling the money away, news outlets reported.

Smock was being held in the Fayette County Jail, Chitwood said in the news release. It was unclear whether he had an attorney to speak for him.

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant of Berea College was built in 1909, according to its website. It has hosted famous guests including the Dalai Lama, Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou.

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