Former County Clerk Indicted On Embezzlement Charges

A former clerk to Pitt County commissioners has been indicted on embezzlement charges involving county funds.

WITN News has learned that Patricia Staton was indicted last week by a grand jury on two charges of felony embezzlement and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Both involved using a county credit card at Sam's Club.

County officials referred all inquiries to County Attorney Janis Gallagher. She said there were measures in place to act as a deterrent, and they were able to catch alleged inaccuracies. "As a result of the alleged embezzlement, no employee will be allowed to carry a Sam's Club credit card any longer," Gallagher told WITN.

Court records show Staton is accused of embezzling nearly $950 in county money by using the credit card on two occasions at Sam's Club in Winterville. The indictments say Staton bought grocery items, including wine, linens, clothing and an iPod with the county credit card, once in 2008 and another in 2009.

Staton became clerk to the board in June 2006 and made $56,702 a year. She resigned February 1st. The Pitt County jail said they had no mug shot for Staton.

Monday night county commissioners appointed deputy clerk Kimberly Hines as its new clerk to the board. Hines has worked for the county since 2001.

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