Office of the Attorney General
Former Simpson County Chamber Executive Director Sentenced to Prison for Theft
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that on Friday, April 18, 2008, the Franklin Circuit Court sentenced Karen Eaton, former executive director of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, to one year in prison and ordered her to repay more than $190,000 that was stolen from the chamber.
Eaton, who served as head of the Chamber from 2000 to 2007, was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury last year for misappropriating state grant money, which was distributed by the State Department of Agriculture and administered by her through the chamber in 2004 and 2006.
The Kentucky State Police in Bowling Green conducted the investigation into the thefts by Eaton. General Conway's office prosecuted the case in which Eaton pled guilty to both counts contained in the Franklin Circuit Court indictment. The investigation revealed additional alleged thefts that occurred throughout Eaton's tenure as head of the chamber. As a result of her agreement to enter a plea of guilty, to serve jail time and pay full restitution, the Commonwealth agreed not to pursue additional charges.
"Officials who are entrusted with public funds and who violate their positions of public trust must and will be held accountable," General Conway said.
Under the terms of a guilty plea entered by Eaton, she must make full restitution to the chamber prior to her release from jail. Following her release from jail, she will be on probation for a period of five years, during which she is prohibited from holding any position of employment where she is in charge of her employer's bank accounts.