Local News

Durham Sheriff: Former Employee of Year Confesses to Stealing Money

Posted May 15, 2007 2:29 p.m. EDT
Updated May 15, 2007 5:41 p.m. EDT

— 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.