Former county collector pleads guilty to stealing

Former county collector pleads guilty to stealing

VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS) - A former county collector has pleaded guilty to stealing.

According to online court documents, Jennifer Clark-Williams of Van Buren, Missouri entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge of stealing on Monday at the Carter County Courthouse.

Clark-Williams will pay restitution prior to her sentencing.

According to a probable cause statement from the Carter County prosecuting attorney, she's accused of stealing thousands in taxpayers money. Prosecuting attorney, Rocky Kingree, says an investigation began in 2011 after he discovered a 2009 audit showed missing taxpayer funds. After another audit and special investigation, it was discovered that money was missing.

Kingree says Clark-Williams was suspected in taking it. During an interview, Kingree says Clark-Williams tried to justify 'borrowing' money, saying she used it to pay personal debts but had paid some of it back. Kingree says she wasn't sure how much she had returned or exactly when she had taken it. He says she did say the first time she took funds was in December of 2010 when she paid her personal electric bill. The statement says Clark-Williams later admitted to taking money through duplicate or overpaid payments that she would not return.

Further investigation showed those missing funds added up to $5,196. Clark-Williams resigned from her position in October of 2012. The statement shows, taxpayer funds have not been repaid.

She has a sentence hearing schedule for February 9, 2015 at the Carter County Courthouse.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.