Trial begins for former Greene Co. Circuit Clerk - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Trial begins for former Greene Co. Circuit Clerk

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    The Theft of property trial against Greene County's former Circuit Clerk, Etta Edwards got underway Wednesday.

     Edwards was indicted in 2011 for allegedly stealing $138, 120.72 from the coffers she was once responsible for between the period of April to June 2009.

     Prosecutors first called an Examiner for the State's office of Public Accounts to the stand.  Isagore McGee testified during a routine audit of computer transactions from Edward's office in 2008, he found 25 deposits totaling $94,000 what he called "In-Transit...meaning they were recorded but the deposits had not been made.

    McGee says the computer audit set off a red flag and that's when he traveled to Greene County to do a physical audit of the records in Edwards office.  After doing all the math, McGee said he discovered more than $138,000 were missing.  He testified that when inquiring about the shortfall, Edwards said she didn't know or that perhaps someone broke into her office and stole it.  But, she later produced a bag of checks and money orders that had been collected from citizens for criminal court fines, etc.  However McGee says a majority of the stack of checks and money orders were 'stale'...meaning that had been held so long -- they were beyond personal check and money order expiration dates for the bank to honor them.

    McGee went on to say that he soon discovered on numerous occasions bank deposit slips showed deposits that should have been made several months prior.  For some reason, the official bank stamps including the date and teller number on several could be seen scratched out, which prosecutors pointed out to the jury.  Further, McGee said the numbers and totals on the deposit slips did not match computer records in many instances.

    The state says the evidence shows Edwards attempted to cover up the money she had taken or was taking.

    However in opening states, Edwards attorney said she's only guilty of sloppy bookkeeping.

    The trial resumes Thursday.  

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