The Clay Circuit Court clerk's bookkeeper was fired and pleaded guilty to abuse of public trust and theft charges.
According to a state audit of the office's finances through June 2008, released this week, bail bonds were improperly released and checks were cashed from the clerk's cash drawer or were drawn from the official bank account.
The state Administrative Office of the Courts fired bookkeeper Pat Campbell in January after an investigation. Campbell was indicted in August with 131 counts of theft of more than $57,000 — some felony counts, some misdemeanors — and one count of abuse of public trust.
Campbell pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday to five years and ordered to pay restitution, said Clay Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Harold Rader. He said Campbell was entered into a pre-trial diversion program, which allows for dismissal of the case if she complies with probation requirements.
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In responses contained in the audit, Clay Circuit Court Clerk James S. Phillips said that two employees are now handling deposits and disbursements separately, to guard against theft. He said the office has long had a policy against cashing checks from the office drawers. And he criticized the First National Bank staff for cashing checks marked "for deposit only" and noted the bank told him its policy had been changed.