Former county worker sentenced for theft

A former county employee will have to serve seven days in jail and repay nearly $13,000 after stealing public funds.

Jennifer Paige Adkins, 41, of 222 Moundale Ave., pleaded guilty in November to four counts of theft by unlawful taking. The plea agreement called for her to serve one year on each count.

Thursday in Clark Circuit Court, Judge Brandy Oliver Brown added the seven days in jail as part of an alternative sentence. The remainder of Adkins’ sentence was then probated for three years.

“You need to have seven days to remember what’s going to happen to you” if she fails on probation, Brown said.

Adkins had previously served two days after she was arrested in May 2018.

Adkins worked in the county’s emergency management office and was treasurer of the Local Emergency Planning Committee account, which used public funds but not county funds.

According to court documents, Adkins issued more than $16,000 in false invoices, made purchases totaling $4,463.71 with EPC funds at Walmart and issued unauthorized checks totaling $6,654.47.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel said Adkins will be ordered to repay $12,915.68 as part of her probation.

The thefts occurred over the course of about 18 months. County officials noticed discrepancies while reviewing the account statements from the bank. Detectives from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office found 17 checks with forged signatures and six others without the required second signature. The checks were all payable to Adkins and were deposited in her personal account.

Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. said Adkins was the only person with access to the account.