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Ohio Co. Employee Charged With Misusing Card

Rhonda Spencer

 A Beaver Dam woman who was hired as a clerk in the Ohio County Treasurer's Office has been charged with felony fraudulent use of a county credit card.
Rhonda Spencer, 42, was arrested Friday after officials with the Ohio County Sheriff's Department said they reviewed video from the Beaver Dam Walmart and the Best Buy in Owensboro to confirm the identity of the person who misused credit cards to buy more than $3,000 worth of items.

   Records show the earliest theft with the credit cards was Oct. 12, 2013.

    Sheriff David Thompson said his office was alerted by Treasurer Anne Melton, who discovered the unauthorized charges Feb. 27 during a routine audit.

    "Anne found something that wasn't right, and she called me immediately," Thompson said. "We didn't have much of an issue getting (the confession) out of (Spencer)."

    Among Spencer's duties in the treasurer's office was checking credit cards in and out to county employees.

    According to Judge-Executive David Johnston, county employees and department heads aren't allowed to carry a county credit card. But those who are authorized to use the credit card must have a purchase order and a receipt to accompany all purchases.

    "She had physical access to the credit cards, but she didn't have the authority to use them," Johnston said.

    Spencer was hired in January 2013, passing the required criminal background check and drug screening, Johnston said.

    However, Spencer was arrested for shoplifting on Oct. 31, 2012, which Johnston said occurred after the background check was done.

    "We did everything we were supposed to do," he said.

    Spencer has been charged with fraudulent use of a credit card more than $500 and less than $10,000 — a class C felony.

    She has since been released from the Ohio County Detention Center under a $5,000 unsecured bond and scheduled to be arraigned in Ohio District Court on March 10.

    Johnston said Spencer has also been terminated from her position with the county.

    "The system worked," Johnston said. "We got an almost full-proof system, where if you steal from the county, you can't get away with it."

 Reprinted from KPA
 Story by  Don Wilkins, The Messenger-Inquirer



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