Ga. court clerk accused of stealing thousands

AUSTELL, Ga. (AP) - Austell officials say a court clerk took more than $121,000 from the city since 2003 and used at least some of the money to pay her bills.

Patricia Regina Wilcurt was arrested Monday and jailed without bond on charges of theft by taking and making a false statement in writing to a government entity. She's been a court employee since 1999.

Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins says the money was found to be missing during a routine audit. Fees and fines paid to the court are usually logged in two places - one at the court, the other with deposits at city hall.

Wilcurt is accused of changing the amounts logged with the deposits to hide the thefts. Officials say the two records hadn't been compared side-by-side before.

Jerkins says the two records will be crosschecked for accuracy from now on.

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