Woman charged with theft from Bristol non-profit; organization directed by local lawmakers' father

Rain Smith • Jan 28, 2013 at 2:03 AM

A Kingsport woman is accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from a Bristol-based non-profit, which funds a Bluff City Christian radio station and is directed by Kenneth C. Hill — the Tennessee Regulatory Authority director and father of local representatives Timothy and Matthew Hill.

An affidavit filed in Bristol General Sessions Court states Quyen Renee Quillin, 37, of 613 West Valley View Circle, Kingsport, was arrested Jan. 22 by Bristol, Tenn., Police. She was charged with theft of more than $10,000, booked into the Sullivan County jail and released after posting $3,000 bond.

"It's a difficult thing, and it's a very difficult and very sad thing for her," Hill told the Times-News of the arrest, adding an investigation is continuing. BTPD Det. Brian Hess says Quillin had been an employee of Hill's non-profit approximately four years, with AECC continuing to follow paper trails and suspecting the total theft could be close to $300,000.

Court records state Quillin was an employee of Hill's Appalachian Education Commission Corporation, which broadcasts WHCB 91.5 Christian radio out of Bluff City, Tenn. Hill reportedly contacted investigators on Jan. 14, two months after attempting to obtain a loan for the ministry and being denied.

He reported that a subsequent check of records discovered Quillin, a bookkeeper and administrative assistance with his non-profit, had opened a joint American Express card on his account without permission. Hill told police Quillin had charged approximately $47,000 on the card and then paid it off with money from the Appalachian Education Commission Corporation, which is funded through donations from the public.

The affidavit states Hill's wife spoke with Quillin about the missing money in November. Quillin allegedly admitting to taking "over $32,000" out of the ministry's account since Jan. of 2010.

According to the court affidavit, Quillin also sent e-mails and texts, "asking for forgiveness and stating she would pay it all back." Kenneth Hill contacted police Jan. 14, telling the Times-News that the delay was so an internal investigation could first be conducted.

When interviewed by police on Jan. 22, Quillin allegedly admitted to taking $32,000 from the ministry's account without the Hill's knowledge. She's set to appear in Bristol court on Feb. 19 at 9 a.m.

The ministry's president and theft victim, Hill, was appointed to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority in 2009 by Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey. In 2011 TRA members elected him to serve as chairman of the agency. He is also the father of Rep. Timothy Hill, of Blountville, and Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough, both Republican.

In addition to the non-profit WHCB radio, Hill operates three local commercial radio stations; WABN Oldies radio in Abingdon, WHGG 1090 AM Christian talk in Kingsport, Power Talk WPWT 870 AM in Colonial Heights. He said those stations help fund WHCB in Bluff City.

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