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.
“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.