Woodford County

Ex-Garrard clerk pleads guilty

Former Garrard Circuit Court Clerk Jennifer Grubbs pleaded guilty Friday to one count of first-degree official misconduct.

Special Judge Mary Jane Phelps fined Grubbs $500 plus $150 in court costs Friday during a proceeding in Versailles.

Grubbs was indicted in March on seven counts of official misconduct. Five of those counts dealt with financial transactions in which Grubbs allegedly used office funds as her own account.

Special Prosecutor David Smith, the Madison County commonwealth's attorney, said those five counts were merged into one. The counts involved a total of $1,235 that has been repaid.

Two other counts were dismissed.

One count alleged that Grubbs failed to file a civil lawsuit in which Deputy Clerk Nancy Moberly was being sued by Fort Logan Hospital in Stanford. The civil action was never filed because Moberly paid the $236 for which she was being sued.

"It was sort of a no-harm, no-foul situation," Smith said.

The final count involved charges of theft by deception against Grubbs' daughter, Brandi Poynter. The indictment had alleged that the case files were found in Grubbs' office Dec. 16 and that Grubbs had acted "with intent to obtain a benefit" for Poynter. In addition, court costs and fees on those cases were not paid for months after their due date.

Smith said he took the late payments "as more of a negligent situation as opposed to any sort of criminal intent." Grubbs wasn't trying "to thwart the process from being completed. It just fell off her radar on the court docket." All fees and costs were paid.

Grubbs submitted her letter of retirement on Dec. 31. Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. had suspended her on Dec. 17 as the state Administrative Office of the Courts investigated possible misconduct.

In January, Garrard Circuit Judge Hunter Daugherty appointed Dana Hensley to fill the vacancy created by Grubbs' retirement.