County fires employee charged with theft

Published 10:32 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Clark County employee charged with theft and multiple counts of forgery was terminated Wednesday.

The Clark County Fiscal Court voted unanimously, with Magistrate Pam Blackburn absent, to terminate Jennifer Paige Adkins, who is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking over $10,000 and 17 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Adkins, 41, of 222 Moundale Ave., was arrested Sunday and had been suspended without pay effective Monday.

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Adkins worked in the Clark County Emergency Management office and was the elected treasurer for the Local Emergency Planning Committee. The program did not use county funds, but Adkins is a county employee.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said previously his office received bank statements for the EPC account. 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.

When the latest statement arrived May 7, Branham said it confirmed his suspicions and he forwarded the information to the county attorney who 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.

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 U.S. Postal Service.

Adkins, who has worked for the county since 2001, was arrested Sunday but was released after posting 10 percent of her $12,000 bond, according to the Clark County Detention Center.

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