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AG Beshear secures guilty plea from ex-Lee County Circuit Clerk

Emma Adams ordered to repay stolen funds; sentencing set for April 1
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By Terry Sebastin, Crystal Staley
News from Attorney General Andy Beshear's Communications Office

FRANKFORT, KY. (Fri 19 Feb 2016) - Today Attorney General Andy Beshear announced that Emma Adams, former Lee County Circuit Clerk, pled guilty to abuse of public trust.

"Kentuckians have a right to expect that elected officials follow the law," Beshear said. "When leaders abuse their office and break the public's trust, our office is here to hold them accountable."

Adams unlawfully obtained more than $100,000 in public money or property from funds that were administered through the Administrative Offices of the Court (AOC).

With assistance from AOC auditors, the Office of the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations began investigating Adams.

The investigation traced and verified a total of $334,845.44 in missing state funds from 2006 until mid-year 2015. Nearly, $78,738.97 of the missing funds were from circuit civil filing fees, which was administered solely by Adams.

The remaining $256,106.47 was traced to missing bank deposits. Those funds represent money the circuit clerks are required to take in and hold in trust on behalf of others such as bail bonds and restitution payments.

The Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case. Adams admitted to taking this money for her own personal use and pled guilty to abuse of public trust, a class D felony. She was ordered to pay $334,845.44 in restitution.

Formal sentencing is expected to take place on April 1, 2016 at 9 a.m. in Franklin Circuit Court.

"I want to thank the AOC auditors and the members of my Department of Criminal Investigations and Special Prosecutions Unit for handling this case," Beshear said.

This story was posted on 2016-02-20 12:06:29
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