Arrest

Jan 29, 2013 5:02 AM

Owsley County Clerk Charged

Police have arrested a Kentucky county clerk after an audit and an investigation into his handling of the office.

Jail officials confirm Sid Gabbard, 61, is being held in the Franklin County Jail on charges of theft by failure to make required distribution of property and willfully filing false tax returns or filing fake taxes.

A state audit released last June concluded that there was a high risk of fraud at the Owsley County Clerk's office. According to a Herald Leader story, there were 15 examples of problematic financial practices, and the office ran a known deficit of $61,398 at the end of 2010. Problems included failing to provide receipts for payments, and not sending tax and retirement withholding to the state and IRS. The audit said the bookkeeping was so bad, auditors could not render an official opinion on the office's financial statements.

That wasn't the first problematic audit of Gabbard's office. Eight years ago, the state auditor's office said Gabbard used more than $58,000 of his own money to cover the county's deficit. In 2006, the Clerk's office owed several county taxing districts more than $10,000.

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