Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Guilty Plea of Former County Clerk in Connection with Theft of Funds
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the conviction, by guilty plea, of former Lewis County Clerk Shirley Hinton, 74, of Vanceburg. The former clerk pled guilty to the charges filed against her by a Lewis County grand jury. The indictment in January of this year included six counts of theft of funds over $500, six counts of filing a false income tax return, and one count of official misconduct.
Hinton admitted that, in six of the years between 1999 and 2009, she unlawfully took public funds for her personal benefit in her capacity as Lewis County Clerk, in a scheme that involved replacing part of the stolen funds with new sources of cash as a new year arrived. Hinton was discovered in 2008 to have accumulated remaining shortages totaling $25,000 as a result of the scheme, which she repaid before the completion of the criminal investigation. Hinton also admitted to filing false fiscal reports for each of the years in question.
The Commonwealth is recommending a sentence of six years, withheld on supervised probation, all of which is conditional upon Hinton paying fines, costs, taxes, and additional restitution. Hinton paid all amounts due today at her guilty plea, totaling approximately $29,130. She will be sentenced in Carter Circuit Court on May 21, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
The indictment and plea is the result of referral of audits by the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts and an investigation by the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations, with assistance by the Kentucky Department of Revenue Division of Special Investigations. The case is being handled by the Attorney General's Office of Special Prosecutions under the Attorney General's jurisdiction to prosecute crimes involving county financial administration and at the request of local Commonwealth's Attorney Cliff Duvall.