Office of the Attorney General
Grand Jury Indicts Former Employee of Breathitt County Sheriff's Office on Felony Charges
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the indictment of a former employee of the Breathitt County Sheriff's department on multiple felony charges. A grand jury indicted 36-year-old Crystal Southwood, the daughter of Breathitt County Sheriff Ray Clemons, on 28 counts of forgery and one count of abuse of public trust following an investigation by General Conway's Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI). All of the charges are Class D felonies.
The indictment charges Southwood with forging the endorsement of the Sheriff on a total of 28 checks. Twenty-six of the checks were from law offices given in payment for serving subpoenas, one for payment of a gun license and one for a calendar advertisement. Southwood was also charged with obtaining the money from the checks as a public servant and diverting it to her own use.
The Attorney General's investigation followed a referral from the state Auditor's Office. Prosecution is being handled by General Conway's Office of Special Prosecutions. Southwood will be arraigned on February 24, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in Breathitt Circuit Court.
The charges against Southwood all carry a penalty of one to five years in prison each, as well as an additional penalty upon conviction of a fine up to $10,000 for each count.
A charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.