- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Warren County Board of Supervisors has accepted a $100,000 check for reimbursement of a bond on former Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree.

Palmertree is currently serving a five-year prison sentence in the Central Mississippi Satellite Facility for women in Flowood for embezzling $12,000 from her office’s civil and criminal accounts in 2012.

The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1V81YfE ) reports a security bond company spent two years reviewing the county’s claim to the bond because of Palmertree’s misappropriation of money while in office.

The check came first through State Auditor Stacey E. Pickering’s office before it was sent to Warren County because the state had to file the paperwork for the bond. County administrator John Smith said the money received Monday would go into the county’s general fund.

Palmertree pleaded guilty on March 30, 2015, to stealing an additional $103,736.75 meant for restitution of crime victims from an account under her care between Jan. 1, 2013, until supervisors removed her from office May 15, 2014. Palmertree was sentenced to an additional five years on the second theft, to be served with the first sentence.

District 3 supervisor Charles Selmon said every elected official has a bond on them in case they do anything illegal.

“That means if we do something that’s against the law, then the bonding company will bond us as insurance,” Selmon said.

He wanted the public to know that the case was not over when Palmertree was sentenced, and the county is still working to regain some money.

“Even though she’s incarcerated, that’s not the end of the picture,” Selmon said. “The picture is Warren County is still trying to recuperate money that is owed.”

Assistant District Attorney Marcie Southerland said Palmertree is continuing to pay a monthly restitution of $1,250 to the district attorney’s office.

Selmon said the board hopes to receive bond money from two other bonding companies in regards to Palmertree for an additional $200,000.

“It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the money that was misappropriated,” he said.

The money paid to the county is part of the $818,252 owed by Palmertree. The figure includes salary Palmertree pocketed above the state-mandated cap for circuit and chancery clerks plus questionable subcontractor payments to her father and predecessor in office, Larry Ashley, from 2006 to 2011.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com

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