2 ex-county employees accused of embezzling

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Two former Lincoln County Justice Court deputy clerks have beenindicted on charges of embezzlement following a state auditdepartment investigation.

Sherry Richardson and Lovie Lawanda McCoy were each indicted ona charge of embezzlement by a public officer during last week’ssession of the Lincoln County Grand Jury.

Richardson, who also was charged with two counts of utteringforgery, and McCoy were served with indictments and arrestedMonday. Richardson, 32, of 97 Apple Trail, Bogue Chitto, wasreleased on a $20,000 bond. McCoy, 36, of 319 Hartman St., wasreleased on a $10,000 bond.

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The indictment alleges that Richardson took more than $11,800between March 2001 and April 2003. The forgery indictment againstRichardson involved two money orders totaling almost $300.

McCoy is alleged to have taken more than $4,350 between March2001 and July 2002.

Lincoln County officials said Richardson was terminated in April2003. McCoy resigned in July 2002.

Lincoln County Administrator David Fields said the stateinvestigation began after court officials found a discrepancy whilereconciling a bank statement.

“The audit department was called in when we found a problem witha deposit,” Fields said.

The lengthy investigation was due to extensive reviews of dailyrecords of court activity. Fields said the alleged improprietyinvolving Richardson surfaced during the course of theinvestigation.

“When they got to checking and looking, some other thingsstarted popping up,” Fields said.

McCoy’s attorney Charles Miller denied the charges in theindictment. He said McCoy is now employed by him and is doing greatwork.

“An indictment is just an allegation. It’s not evidence of anyguilt,” Miller said.

Attorney Lesa Baker, who represents Richardson, was unavailablefor comment.