The former director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance was arrested Jan. 24 on charges that she embezzled funds from the organization and used a credit card in the organization’s name to make more than $500 in purchases without permission.
According to arrest warrants issued by the Asheville Police Department on Jan. 22, Kendra Penland Turner, 42, faces one charge of embezzlement and one charge of financial card fraud. She has been known in Asheville as Kendra Penland. According to the arrest warrants, the financial card fraud occurred from October 2016 through April 2018. The embezzlement occurred from February 2017 through April 2018.
On Monday, Turner declined to comment on the charges she’s facing, but said she and her attorney, George Hyler, are planning to make a statement in the coming days. “We’ll have a lot to say at that point,” she said.
Hyler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Interim Director Mike Rangel and President Joe Rowland referred questions about the charges to the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office. “The Asheville Brewer’s Alliance does not comment on personnel issues,” Rowland said by email. “We are fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s office in this matter.”
Penland started as executive director of the nonprofit in November 2015, a moment when Buncombe County was home to 21 breweries. She resigned in summer 2018. By July 2018, the number of Buncombe breweries had risen to 32.
At the time of Penland’s resignation, Rangel said he could not comment on personnel matters.
Penland worked in communication and public relations before joining the ABA and said at the time of her resignation that she planned to work as a consultant in the food and beverage industry. “I have contributed everything I can [to the ABA],” she said then.
Penland appeared in court on Jan. 25. Her next court date is Friday, March 15.