Elliott County clerk, deputy clerk indicted

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Elliott County Clerk Sheila Blevins - Indicted on abuse of public trust charges 6-9-16

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday announced that a Franklin County grand jury returned separate indictments charging Elliott County Clerk Shelia Blevins and her sister, Elliott County Deputy Clerk Jeannie Moore, with complicity to commit abuse of public trust under $10,000 in connection with misuse of public funds in 2014.

The cases were investigated by the Department of Criminal Investigations within the Office of the Attorney General. Beshear’s Office of Special Prosecutions is prosecuting the case.

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“Kentuckians have a right to expect that public officials follow the law and uphold public trust,” Beshear said. “I appreciate the hard work of my investigators and prosecutors on this case, and I thank the Auditor’s Office for our ongoing partnership on this and other audit referrals. Working together we can hold accountable those public officials who seek to defraud taxpayers.”

The Attorney General’s office began investigating the clerk’s office during the 2014 annual audit of the clerk’s fee account by the state auditor. Once the audit was complete, it was referred to the AG’s office for a finding involving four missing daily deposits totaling $15,680 from the fee account.

“Since we took office in January, the directive for our auditors has been to simply follow the data and see where it leads,” Auditor Mike Harmon said. “Thanks to the hard work of the auditors in our northeastern Kentucky branch in bringing the apparent financial issues within the Elliott County Clerk’s office to light and to the attention of investigators. We also want to thank Attorney General Beshear and his investigative staff for their work and cooperation with our agency in presenting the evidence in our findings which led to the indictments.”

Complicity to commit abuse of public trust under $10,000 is a Class D felony, carrying a penalty of one to five years. All felonies carry an additional penalty, upon conviction, of a fine up to $10,000.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Blevins and Moore are set to be arraigned July 8.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.