Audit reveals former county employee stole money

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA – An audit by the State Examiners of Public Accounts, released last week, revealed a former Shelby County employee made 19 unauthorized withdrawals from a Shelby County Commission bank account over a period of several years.

County Manager Alex Dudchock said Mia Horton withdrew a total of $15,403.61 from the bank account.

In the county’s response to the audit, Dudchock and County Commissioner Lindsey Allison said Horton was immediately fired when officials learned of the withdrawals.

“The account involved was a low volume low dollar balance account. The employee in question was a valued member of the department that had been assigned the oversight responsibilities for this account,” the response read. “When the unauthorized activity was discovered, County Management took immediate disciplinary action, which resulted in termination.”

The county’s response also stated charges were filed with the police, and all funds were repaid. Since then, the bank account has been reassigned, and more attention paid to receipts, disbursements and reconciliations, according to the response.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Bostick said the audit will go to a grand jury.

“The audit was received today by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office,” Bostick said. “This matter will be received as a matter of law by a Shelby County grand jury.