County employee charged for theft, forgery

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Multiple theft and forgery charges are pending against a Clark County employee who allegedly wrote more than $11,500 in checks to herself in the last 18 months.

Jennifer Paige Adkins, 41, of 222 Moundale Ave., was arrested Sunday for one count of theft by unlawful taking over $10,000 and 17 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Adkins works in the Clark County Emergency Management office and was the elected treasurer for the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said. The program did not use county funds, but Adkins is a county employee.

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Branham said his office received bank statements for the EPC account. Branham said he kept copies of the statements, but noticed discrepancies in April.

Branham met with Adkins and Gary Epperson, who serves as the county emergency management director and solid waste coordinator, in April after he noticed the issue.

“I wasn’t really satisfied with that conversation,” Branham said.

When the latest statement arrived May 7, Branham said it confirmed his suspicions and he forwarded the information to the county attorney who, in turn, turned it over to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. said detectives found 17 checks where signatures of Epperson or Charles Steele were forged. Another six checks did not have the required second signature.

Each of the checks were made payable to Adkins and were deposited in her personal account, Perdue said.

Adkins was the only person with access to the EPC account, Perdue said.

“From what I understand, she was totally responsible for all the financial statements, bills and payments,” Perdue said.

The checks, which dated back to December 2016, totaled $11,551.20, he said.

Two checks were written to Epperson, which he said he never received, and one to the US Postal Service.

Perdue said detectives requested several interviews with Adkins, but she never showed up.

“We have not questioned her,” he said. “We made several attempts, but at this time, we have not been able to ask her about motive or reasons behind it.”

Adkins was arrested Sunday but was released after posting 10 percent of her $12,000 bond, according to the Clark County Detention Center.

Adkins, who has worked for the county since 2001, was suspended without pay effective Monday, Branham said.

If convicted, Adkins could be sentenced to five to 10 years for theft and one to five years for each forged instrument count.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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