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News Release

CLERK INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST OF FORMER EMPLOYEE

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 18, 2013) – A former Clerk & Comptroller’s office employee was arrested on Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, after she allegedly pocketed money intended to pay customers’ traffic fines.

Jemettie McKeithen, 40, of Sunrise, was charged with two counts of official misconduct and one count of petty theft. She was terminated in 2011 from her clerk’s job with the Clerk & Comptroller’s office due to excessive tardiness. An investigation was launched after her dismissal when questions emerged concerning her handling of cash transactions.

The investigation by the Clerk & Comptroller’s Public Integrity Unit found that approximately $1,600 was missing or suspected to be missing because of her actions. They also found at least two cases where she cleared pending driver license suspensions without required documentation, including her own pending suspension from a citation she received in Osceola County.

The results of that investigation were forwarded to FDLE investigators, who pursued a criminal case against McKeithen.

“Because of our fiduciary duty to the public, we are constantly monitoring the flow of cash in our operations. If there are any irregularities, we immediately begin an investigation and, if warranted, turn it over to law enforcement for prosecution,” said Clerk Sharon Bock. “Our system worked as designed, to keep taxpayers’ money safe. While it is unfortunate that a former employee used her position to her own benefit, it does not reflect on our outstanding team of well-trained and honorable public servants.”   

The Public Integrity Unit is part of the Clerk’s Division of Inspector General, and conducts investigations of suspected fraud, waste, abuse or ethical misconduct submitted through the Clerk & Comptroller’s employee ethics hotline and other sources.

For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996.

 

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents.  In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

 

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