Update: Former Madison County Employee Pleads Guilty to Using Office for Personal Gain

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A former Madison County employee has pleaded guilty in a case involving theft and ethics charges.

Deborah Kay Sims, 59, was scheduled to go to trial Monday.  She pleaded guilty to using her office for personal gain and must pay $154,673 in restitution.

Sims worked as the secretary for former Madison County District Three Commissioner Jerry Craig.  An investigation into Sims began when the current District Three Commissioner, Eddie Sisk, noticed an irregularity in a bank statement.  Prosecutors say Sims had access to public funds in the Madison County Fishing Rodeo account and wrote checks and used a charge card to get cash and buy personal items she kept for herself.

Sims faces the possibility of two to 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines.  Sims will be sentenced June 20.  Her lawyer is pushing for probation.

The Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.

“This defendant abused her public trust to steal more than $150,000 from a public fund, and I am pleased that we are recovering the stolen funds for the citizens of Madison County,” said Attorney General Luther Strange. “Today’s conviction should send a message to all public employees that they will be held to account if they steal taxpayers’ money.”

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