Only on 12: Magistrate Court clerk on leave in accounting discrepancy

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

A deputy clerk in the Magistrate Court's office at the Augusta Municipal Building is on paid administrative leave.

It's an investigation that began three weeks ago when some important numbers weren't adding up.

This is a story you'll see Only on 12.

A lot of cash changes hands at the Richmond County Magistrate's Office.

And now a deputy clerk is under suspicion of pocketing some of that money.

"It's an ongoing criminal investigation and at the present time I can't comment on this investigation," says Gaynell Bonner, clerk of civil court. Bonner oversees the department.

The investigation centers on a deputy clerk who's been there eight years.

Chief Judge William Jennings was notified of the discrepancies.

"He being the head of this department, he alerted the authorities to start an investigation," Bonner says.

"The only thing I can tell you is about some discrepancy of accounting in that office," says Maj. Ken Autry of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The discrepancy could end up being thousands of dollars.

"We just performed an internal audit, and this is what prompted the investigation," Bonner says.

In the meantime, auditors are looking at the books and trying to find out just how much is missing.

The answer to that could bring criminal charges.

"If they ever call us back and say this is missing and missing between this time frame and these are the people involved, then we will conduct an investigation," Maj. Autry says.

The employee in question was placed on administrative leave and told through a letter to surrender her office keys and county identification.

The employee has not been charged, but that can change pending the outcome of the audits.


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