On 6/24/14 the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Clerk of Court Heather Banks McNeal regarding a discrepancy in monies collected by an employee of her office. Mrs McNeal indicated to investigators that citation monies handled by Karen Patterson (45 yoa, Shane Rd, Statesboro Ga) were not deposited as they should have been according to policy and that computerized records had been altered to conceal the thefts. Patterson was terminated from employment by the Clerk of Court on 6/25/14. According to a thorough internal audit conducted by the Clerk, approximately 19 instances of theft occurred over an approximately three month period and involved over $3,000 of citation money.
On 7/8/14 Investigator Jason Long served arrest warrants on Patterson for the offenses of Felony Theft by Taking, Computer Forgery, and Violation of Oath of Public Office. She posted a bond of $10,000 and was released after being booked into the Bulloch County Jail.
Mrs McNeal believes that “the checks and safeguards that are currently in place in the Clerks Office are proving to be effective so that any deviations from office procedures are detected.” The entire Clerks Office was completely cooperative with the efforts of BCSO investigators involved in the case. Anyone with further information should contact Inv Long at 912-764-1747 or submit an anonymous tip to firstname.lastname@example.org