Jefferson County, FL - 4,238 dollars... That's the amount a woman is accused of stealing from the Jefferson County Clerks Office.
Not only was the woman an employee, but those funds were supposed to paying for people's child support.
WCTV was told by some local residents in Jefferson County that they always knew Stephanie Footman to be a good person. They never imagined she'd be charged for something like this.
It was a scheme that allegedly went on for more than six months. Jefferson County resident Stephanie Footman is accused of pocketing people's child support money for herself.
The maximum penalty would be 5 years in the Department of Corrections for a felony of the third degree.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says that from February to September 2012, Footman stole almost $4,500 from 18 different people.
Phil Smith, State Attorney, stated, "it's serious from the standpoint of it's a theft and you've got a breach of the public's trust here. The clerk's office found this and immediately moved to investigate it but you factor in you work for a public agency i think that maybe magnifies it a little bit."
According to court documents, in a September 20 meeting between Footman and Clerk of Court Kirk Reams regarding missing money, Footman said "I've been working three jobs and still couldn't make ends meet. My kids needed something and I didn't have it. That's why I did it."
Stephanie Footman: "I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed with you guys. I'm ashamed to have to tell my kids. I'm ashamed to have to tell my family. There's no excuse for it."
Footman is a cheerleading sponsor for Jefferson County High School.
Theola Scott, Jefferson County Resident, stated "She started working at child support, but all I ever knew about here was good, I never knew nothing bad about her. It was a shock to me, it was a shock."
Reams told WCTV that the Clerk of Court terminated her employment when she admitted guilt and the superintended of Jefferson County Schools, Bill Brumfield told WCTV she tendered her resignation as Cheerleading Sponsor this afternoon.
The woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars in child support payments from a local county clerks office has turned herself in.
Stephanie Footman is now facing criminal charges for a scheme that went on for more than 6 months.
Footman turned herself into the Jefferson County jail around lunch time today according to sheriff David Hobbs.
She allegedly ripped off 18 different victims to the tune of $4,238.
Jefferson County, FL - Statement issued by Kirk Reams, Jefferson County Clerk of Court and CFO, regarding issue in child support:
A customer driven inquiry triggered an internal audit of processes and procedures in our Child Support division. After uncovering discrepancies related to cash receipts in this department, I contacted FDLE to perform a formal, external investigation.
This investigation resulted in the employee’s termination and the findings were turned over to the State Attorney for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. This situation is contained to one individual affecting one aspect of our operation and charges are pending. Every effort is being exhausted to ensure that anyone affected is indemnified and made whole. I will continue to serve the citizens of Jefferson County to the best of my ability and will not tolerate anyone on my staff that compromises the public’s trust.
Jefferson County, FL - Stephanie Footman, an employee with the Jefferson County clerk's office is accused of stealing a sum of 4,238 dollars from individual child support payments. If convicted, the crime is a third degree felony.
WCTV will bring you more information as it become available.
Jefferson County, FL - October 10, 2012 - An employee with a county clerks office is accused of stealing money from child support payments.
In a statement released to WCTV, Jefferson County Clerk of Court, Kirk Reams, says a customer complaint lead to an internal investigation.
That internal investigation is now in the hands of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Charges are now pending against Stephanie Footman. She's accused of stealing money that would normally go to child support recipients.
How much, or how many people impacted, has not yet been released.
We'll keep you updated as this story develops.