Former county employee to stay on probation

Published 9:34 am Friday, September 13, 2019

The judge reinstated probation for a former county employee who stole thousands of dollars in public money from an account she controlled.

Jennifer Paige Adkins, 42, of 222 Moundale Ave., turned herself in to police Sept. 3, days after a warrant was issued for her arrest for allegedly violating the terms of her probation.

According to court documents, Adkins left Kentucky without permission and had not paid her court costs, restitution or probation fees. Restitution alone totaled nearly $13,000.

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Adkins pleaded guilty in January to four counts of theft by unlawful taking for taking money from the Emergency Planning Committee account for her own use.

Adkins allegedly went to New York on an overnight trip with a daughter while on probation.

“She knew better,” Adkins’ attorney Alex Rowady said Thursday in Clark Circuit Court. “She knew this was something she couldn’t do. That was quickly uncovered.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel said the victim in the case had called her multiple times about not receiving any payments.

“The restitution order was entered in January,” Engel said. “I have personally received calls from the victim in the case about why they are not receiving restitution and seeing on Facebook Ms. Adkins in Florida and wherever else.”

Engel said Winchester Police had set up surveillance to serve the warrant on Adkins but was unsuccessful. She eventually turned herself in to police.

Probation officers recommended a 10-day sanction for the violations, which Clark Circuit Judge Brandy Oliver Brown instituted.

“The reason you were arrested… Anyone else who didn’t pay restitution for that length of time, never mind going to Florida, I’d arrest,” Brown said. “We don’t have wiggle room for ‘I didn’t get it done but I’ll make it better later.’

“You may not like it but you’re stuck because you created the problem.”

Rowady said Thursday Adkins would be able to make full restitution, and she had made some payments.

Engel said nothing had been paid as of Aug. 19, seven months after the order was filed.

Adkins was the treasurer for the EPC account while she worked for Clark County. County officials noticed some discrepancies in the account statements in early 2018. While the account used public funds, they were not county funds. Adkins was the only person with access to the account, according to the sheriff’s office.

Adkins was arrested in May 2018 after detectives found 17 checks with forged signatures and six without the required second signature, all made payable to Adkins and deposited in her personal account. She also issued thousands of dollars worth of false invoices, issued multiple unauthorized checks.

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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