Jackson County

Former Jackson County clerk indicted for embezzlement

Ginger Lynn Lashley, a former clerk in Jackson County's finance department, has been indicted on eight felony counts of embezzlement for allegedly stealing more than $800,000 from the county coffers, according to an indictment released today.

A press conference with State Auditor Stacey Pickering and other local officials is being conducted now on the front steps of the old Jackson County Courthouse to offer details.

Jackson County sheriff's investigators first arrested Lashley on an embezzlement charge on Nov. 6, 2009. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said at the time that $125,000 in missing funds had been discovered. Byrd said then that he expected officials to find additional funds missing once Pickering's office completed its investigation in conjunction with the sheriff's investigators and District Attorney Tony Lawrence.

It was after that investigation was completed, officials said, that authorities determined that a more than $800,000 was taken between 2001 and 2008, allegedly at the hands of Lashley. She allegedly was transferring funds into a bogus account.

She later, authorities said, converted the missing money for her own use.

Lashley lives in the 6900 block of Pinehurst Drive, in the St. Andrews area of south Jackson County.

In a statement issued immediately following her 2009 arrest, Jackson County Supervisor Manly Barton said: "We have several financial checks and balances in place; nonetheless the situation did occur. We are going to take all the appropriate steps to keep this from happening again. As public servants, our first responsibility is to be good stewards of the taxpayers' money."

The Sun Herald updates this story as details develop.