June 4, 2014 UPDATED: 5:48 PM
Former Albemarle County employee Dayna Awkard is now facing an embezzlement charge.
Awkard was an employee for the Albemarle Co. Clerk’s Office for 24 years, but resigned on March 21st of this year after rumors surfaced that she had taken cash from the office.
Clerk of courts, Debbie Shipp, says she was surprised by the alleged actions of Awkard.
“I never had any indication,” says Shipp. “There was never anything like that going on that I noticed.”
According to Shipp, Awkard would pocket cash that came through the office for civil matters, which included divorces, name changes, restoration of licenses and expungements, without creating a receipt.
“So therefore it did not make it downstairs to the final end of the day work,” says Shipp. “Everything matched up fine because there was no receipt without the money.”
Without a receipt, it was difficult to find mistakes. Shipp says when she found out about allegations she reported it to the auditor's office.
“The way it was done, there was no way you could've caught it unless you micro-manage everyone in your office and go behind them every day.”
A grand jury heard the case earlier this week and decided to move forward with the charge.
According to the indictment Awkard is believed to have taken nearly $14,000 over the course of five years.
Special prosecutor from Henrico Coounty, David Stock, was brought in for the case since Awkard worked with attorneys in Albemarle Co.
“When you add the violation of public trust evident in this case, due to the embezzlement from a public office, it brings even greater concern to us and we want to make sure that it's dealt with in the best possible way for the people of Albemarle Co.,” says Stock.
If found guilty Awkard could face up to 20 years in prison. She is expected to turn herself over to police on Thursday.
A hearing has been set for July 11th where she is believed to plead guilty to the allegations.
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