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Durham Sheriff: Former Employee of Year Confesses to Stealing Money

Posted May 15, 2007

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— Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill said a former employee admitted taking thousands of dollars from the office's civil division.

Hill said the money was from serving civil papers and collecting money owed to other Durham County residents.

The sheriff said the former employee was responsible for handling the money, the paperwork and the complaints from people asking about the money's whereabouts. He also said annual audits never caught any financial discrepanies.

Authorities have not yet released the person's name because of personnel issues and the individual has not been charged yet. Hill said he does expect to serve warrants for the person's arrest later this week.

"We had all the faith in the world with this person," Hill said.

Hill said the incident has caused the sheriff's office to rethink how it conducts business. He said he will now have different people handling those duties to prevent any wrongdoing.

Last year, the sheriff's office collected $1.7 million in civil executions. So far this year, it has collected over $930,000.

The sheriff said he is not sure how much money the person may have taken, but it could be anywhere from $21,000 to $50,000. Members of the individual's family have offered to pay back all of the money.

Hill said the individual had worked for the sheriff's office from May 1999 to April 2007 and worked in the civil division since 2001. The person was also voted employee of the year in 2004.

20 Comments

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  • Just Once May 16, 2007

    This is easily prevented by a little thought. The person who collects the money should not be responsible for the paperwork. Simple seperation of responsibilities keeps honest people honest.

    Organizations owe it to employees to have good practices that include checks and balances.

  • poke-a-dotcom May 16, 2007

    illegals-go-home...the sheriff didn't say "he will charge"...the sheriff said, "he EXPECTS to charge"...in the real world the two mean two completely different things...

    "he EXPECTS to charge" is only code for.."lets see if this blows over and we can accept the family's money and LET IT ALL DROP without charge"...

    oh and why is this a "personnel" matter...if the person admitted stealing $20,000.00 to $50,000.00 from a bank would "personnel" stop their name from being released

    AND another thing...if this person worked for the Durham Sheriff's Department WHO CONDUCTED THE INVESTIGATION...??????

  • illegals--GO HOME May 16, 2007

    Read carefully.......the sheriff said the person will be charged. What part of that didn't you read. There will be criminal charges, embezzlement and so forth. Nothing unusual here....everytime someone is caught no matter what business they work for, either they or their family always offers to pay...but the criminal charges do occur. It is a shame that one person's deceit causes a "black eye" to all the totally honest people working there.

  • The Professor May 16, 2007

    "we had all the faith in the world", not sure how much money was taken, you've got to be kidding me, where's the accountability here, there should be monthly audits, the perp should be charged, arrested, go to trial and do the time. Her supervisor should be dealt with as well.

  • Tarheelz1 May 16, 2007

    increase the lawmans pay!! so they don't have to steal to take care of their family.........

  • mindyourown May 15, 2007

    Par for the course isn't it???

  • Retired nurse May 15, 2007

    Regardless of the reason for taking it, they should be treated the same as the young lady, if I remember correctly, from Granville County Sheriff's office that embezelled money a couple of years ago. She had to serve a prison sentence! What's fair for one should be fair for the next. If they are allowed to pay it off they will think they can do it the next time they "need" some money. The law should apply for all!

  • Rebel May 15, 2007

    It's sad that this person was a thief. "Personal problems" apparently is code for "I spend more than I make".

    I do believe that the person should be charged and the name and face made public.

  • AtALost May 15, 2007

    Personnel issues??? What a joke. Why hasn't this person been charged? This type of special treatment is why you have people saying "I'm going to do it too" instead of "I don't want that to happen to me".

  • Aquamarine May 15, 2007

    What a BLUFFER this guy is! Named Employee of the Year in 2004! Imagine!!!! What he needs is his picture and name splattered all over the media so everyone who sees him out in public (and that is where he will be), will know who he is. It's a shame his family is willing to cover for him by offering to repay what he stoled.

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