Former Director of Chester Animal Control Department Arrested

Kelli Elvina Simoneau

CHESTER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – According to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, Kelli Elvina Simoneau was taken into custody on Thursday, August 24, 2023.

Simoneau is facing charges of embezzling public funds, an amount less than $10,000.

Prior to this incident, Simoneau was the Director at the Chester Animal Control Department.

Officials say this arrest is due in fact to an investigation initiated by the Chester County Sheriff’s Office in August, focusing on the inappropriate use of funds allocated for Chester County.

According to the Arrest warrant, on June 20, 2023, Simoneau, allegedly arranged for a vet appointment concerning a stray cat in need of dental surgery.

The appointment was made after an employee from the Chester Animal Shelter, under Simoneau’s supervision, contacted the vet.

Simoneau and the vet convened at the Carolina Place Animal Hospital located in Richburg, South Carolina. During this meeting, Simoneau informed the vet that the cat was a stray.

The warrant went on to say that it was later established that the cat was not a stray but had been Simoneau’s personal pet for several years. This conclusion was drawn from statements provided by Animal Control staff members who were familiar with Simoneau’s personal life.

Additionally, an email authored by Simoneau, asserting the cat’s status as her personal pet, further supported this determination.

The warrant says the vet transported the cat from Richburg to the Fort Mill location of the Carolina Place Animal Hospital, where the dental procedure was performed.

Subsequently, Chester County was billed for the expenses associated with the procedure. The warrant alleges that by orchestrating this sequence of events, Simoneau’s intention was to unlawfully appropriate the expense of the procedure, along with other related costs such as tests and vaccines, totaling $401.

This alleged act was purportedly executed for Simoneau’s personal benefit and could be construed as embezzlement.

Simoneau was booked into the Chester County Detention Center upon her arrest.

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