Clerk charged with taking cash from court funds |

Clerk charged with taking cash from court funds

by Sharon Carter

For the second time in less than a year, a Douglas County clerk has been charged with taking money from county coffers.

District Attorney Scott Doyle said Friday charges of misconduct by a public official and unlawful use of public money, both misdemeanors, had been filed late Thursday against Senior District Court Clerk Diana Daley.

Daley, 48, is accused of skimming between $1,400 and $1,500 from cash transactions in the district court office, Doyle said.

“The money was taken in the last half of 1997 through the first quarter of 1998,” Doyle said. “It was from filing fees and copying services – the official fees that office charges in accordance with state law.”

Daley, who has 13 years of county service, is alleged to have given cash-paying customers proper receipts, then pocketed the money and voided the transactions so the cash would not be reflected in the day’s receipts.

Daley is on unpaid leave from her job.

Doyle said the case was initially referred to his office for investigation in June of last year, the same time period substantial shortages were reported in the East Fork Justice Court clerk’s office.

“We had to complete work on the other (justice court) case, so we weren’t able to get to this one until fall 1998,” Doyle said. “The investigation was handled by investigators Mike Beam of this office and Rick Brown of the sheriff’s office on a cooperative basis. More work will be done on it as we move the process to court.”

The defendant in the other case, former East Fork Justice Court clerk Mary Teresa Fry, 46, faced a felony-level charge of unlawful use of public funds.

Fry admitted taking $17,705.71 from fees paid into justice court from August 1996 to June 1998. The Minden-area resident, who has since repaid the money, faces up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine at her March 15 sentencing.

Douglas County Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Reed said Friday she was advised to officially say, ‘No comment,’ in order to avoid jeopardizing the county’s case.

“The investigation, as I understand it, is still going on. Something more should evolve by next week,” Reed said.