11-year county employee charged with stealing money

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 3:56pm
By: John Thompson

Fayette County employees are in shock after one of their own was arrested Friday afternoon.

On Friday, the county issued a warrant for the arrest of a Fayette County government employee, Joyce Payne.

Payne, an 11-year veteran of the Human Resources Department, is suspected of falsifying documents during a period from February through September 2007. The falsified documents enabled her to divert public funds in the amount of $6,218 for her own personal use, officials said.

Officials became aware of a potential problem when they were contacted concerning what was believed to be an erroneous Form 1099 issued to an individual who had provided services to the county.

County Executive Assistant Carol Chandler said a vendor reported it after discovering she did not receive the amount listed on the form.

An internal investigation, conducted by the Fayette County Marshals’ Department, revealed sufficient evidence to take action against Payne. Payne was arrested Friday afternoon at the Stonewall Administrative Complex and she was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay.

County Commission Chairman Jack Smith remarked, “It is extremely disappointing to learn of these allegations against one of our own. I am shocked that such a talented employee could possibly lower herself to this level. In the history of our county’s government, occurrences such as this are so rare that we can scarcely remember the few times it may have happened in the past. Although an incident such as this casts aspersions on all who give of their time and talents in service to Fayette County, I and the Board of Commissioners have full faith and confidence in both our administration and the general integrity of our system of controls to limit such incidents.”

Chandler said she can only recall one other incident during her many years of service to the county.

“In the early ’80s, we had an employee who stole a small amount of petty cash and was fired,” she said.

Early this year, the county began a comprehensive review of its internal controls and has made numerous improvements to decrease the likelihood that incidences such as this one can occur. This review is ongoing and enhancements to the system of internal controls for both prevention and detection of illegal acts will continue as part of its review process.

Chandler said the five charges against Payne will follow a normal course through the legal system.

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Submitted by freedomofinfo on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 9:25am.

Here is what you need to do to Valerie - just follow the model of the Fayette Marshall and Commission..........they have arrested an employee for using public funds for private use - just like Valerie, except Joyce Payne only took/"stole" $6000 or so - Valerie took how much?? $13,000 or $42,000 or more and more - YOU MUST DO SOMETHING!! If not then the citizens of Tyrone are going to go to the Fayette County District Attorney's office.

Heed not and you become a accessory after the fact for hiding and covering up criminal activity!!

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