Safe Harbor Animal Shelter founder Kay-Lynette Roca's home searched by Jupiter police department

. - TEQUESTA, Fla. - Jupiter police searched the Tequesta home of Kay-Lynette Roca as part of an 'ongoing criminal investigation' Wednesday.

Roca, who founded Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Jupiter 28 years ago,  was forced out of her Executive Director position in January amid questions of 'management of money'.

Tequesta Police assisted at the scene only because it is in their jurisdiction.

"They questioned my management of money," said Roca said in a January interview.  Friends say Roca was instructed by her attorney not to speak with the media Wednesday. 

Roca's own board of directors, headed up now by Carol Verdigi, voted her out. 

Those same board members and their attorney have hired a forensic accountant who is sifting through stacks of financial documents.

The accountant is said to be verifying how each donation dollar was spent with Roca at the helm.

"I would never, ever take as much as a can of cat food from Safe Harbor," Roca said in late January.

Roca said she hired legal help. "You better believe that I'm going after everybody involved," she said.

Jupiter police confirm a complaint filed by the Safe Harbor board of directors in January prompted the launching of a 'criminal investigation'.

Details of that investigation are not being released.

Roca's daughter Taylor says the truth will be revealed after the investigation is complete. She claims that during the execution of the search warrant, police removed electronics including computers and cell phones of Roca ad her three children who live with her. 

"Let them [Jupiter Police] do their job because it just shows that things were thoroughly looked through and there is no case to be made," Taylor Roca said. 

Linda Kender, a friend of Roca who says she worked at Safe Harbor for years, says she believes in Roca's honesty and integrity. 

"Has she mismanaged it?  No, not at all. She has treated Safe Harbor like her child in the sense that she was looking out for its future," Kender said. 

The attorney representing the current Board of Directors has not responded to inquiries at this time. Other employees at the shelter would not offer comment Wednesday. 

"I believe in her [Roca], I would stake my life that she has never taken anything from Safe Harbor," Kender said. 

A related story can be found here.

NewsChannel 5's Dan Corcoran contributed to this report.

Print this article Back to Top