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Prescott downtown director arrested after $200K goes missing

Police said the Prescott Downtown Partnership lost $200,000 while Misti Smith served as the organization's executive director over the last year.

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The former executive director of the Prescott Downtown Partnership was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of defrauding more than $200,000 from the organization. 

Misti Smith, 43, of Prescott Valley is facing criminal charges of fraud, forgery, and identity theft after police began investigating suspicious activity that allegedly took place while Smith oversaw the downtown organization. 

Smith abruptly resigned from the partnership last month, which prompted police to begin inspecting allegations of fraud. 

Prescott police said the partnership lost over $200,000 due to illegal activity allegedly committed by Smith. 

The downtown partnership is a merchant's association that was founded in 1999 to serve as a voice for the stakeholders of Prescott's downtown region, according to the organization's website.

Smith was hired to serve as the organization's new executive director in April 2020. 

According to an interview with Prescott Woman Magazine, Smith moved to Prescott in 2019 after working in the tourism industry for 13 years. She said she hoped to help downtown businesses recover from the economic effects brought on by the ongoing pandemic. 

“We have so many plans for new events and campaigns and are moving forward under the assumption that life will resume (to) a level of normalcy at some point," Smith told the magazine.

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