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Former Elliott county clerk pleads guilty on 40 counts

Former Elliott County Clerk Reeda S. Ison pleaded guilty Friday to 40 misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and misapplication of entrusted property.

Ison suddenly resigned two weeks ago, leaving a message on her office answering machine citing "bad health and other complications" and leaving officials temporarily bewildered as to how to replace her.

A recent state auditor's report revealed that account deficits of more than $50,000 had piled up over seven years. Ison's office owed money to multiple county tax districts, including the ambulance service, fiscal court and education department, to the state and to the IRS and Social Security.

According to a plea agreement with the state attorney general's office, Ison will be sentenced to 12 months on each count, and will be released on the condition that she be barred from holding public office and that she pay restitution of more than $27,000.

The restitution will be paid to the attorney general's office, and if it can't be paid, a lien will be placed on Ison's property.

There was a question as to Ison's responsibility for the other portion of missing money, as a deputy clerk was previously charged with theft.

After an audit of her 2006 finances, Ison was indicted in 2008 on felony charges of theft and abuse of public trust. Friday's plea agreement reduced the felony charges to misdemeanors, but added counts to cover the most recent 2007 audit.

Ison could not be reached for comment.

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