The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

February 25, 2013

Former sheriff’s tax office employee faces charges

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— A former employee of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Tax Office has been charged with one misdemeanor county of embezzlement and one felony count of falsifying accounts.

Sheriff Steven Kessler reported Patricia Ann Walker, 52, of Oak Hill, has been charged but not yet arrested for the crimes.

An internal audit within the Sheriff’s Tax Office on Feb. 12 revealed that Walker, one of the tax deputies, had a shortage of around $150 in her cash drawer. She resigned from her position within hours of the investigation.

Kessler said he and his staff have been working with the West Virginia Auditor’s Office to establish safeguards and procedures to prevent and detect misappropriations of funds within the office.

“Although the amount of money stolen in this incident was relatively small, any level of theft is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. We take our duty to guard the public’s funds entrusted to the Tax Office very seriously,” commented the sheriff.