- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (AP) - A former municipal clerk and magistrate has been charged with violating ethics law by pocketing money paid by defendants for court fees and fines.

AL.com reports (https://bit.ly/2qcOnXY) 47-year-old Sunee Cates was arrested Tuesday after a warrant was issued in December.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian says the city of Mountain Brook conducted an internal investigation when the finance department discovered possible improprieties. It found Cates had been taking money and tampering with records. Cates resigned when confronted.

The sheriff’s office began a criminal investigation in February 2016 and has found at least $1,295 missing thus far. Christian says Cates refused to cooperate.

A grand jury will review the case and additional charges could be brought. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer.

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