Several thousand dollars disappeared from the Grainger County clerk's office, and now a former employee is suspected of taking that money.
According to Clerk Angie Lamb, Deputy Clerk Traci Lawson is accused of stealing more than $10,000 over six years. Lawson has been with the Clerk's office for more than 15 years, Lamb added, before she was dismissed earlier in the summer.
The state comptroller's office investigated the records from the department from 2008 to 2013 following the accusations. In their findings, director James Arnette stated an employee deleted and changed receipts for license plates and renewals to the tune of $10,095.20.
That employee, Lamb said, was Lawson.
The clerk's office started investigating the case after noticing several hundred dollars in cash was missing earlier in the year. Lamb said they found nearly 100 vehicle registration transactions totaling thousands of dollars were deleted from accounting records. Also, Lamb said there were several other cases were Lawson allegedly altered records of sales taxes on vehicles.
"It's been very difficult. We had to go through transaction after transaction -- contacting customers to get the document that was either altered or deleted," Lamb said.
Lamb said the money has since been returned to the office.
The case goes to the grand jury on September 9 to find out if any formal charges will be filed.