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McCord to serve 4 years
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Becky McCord, former Dawson County Clerk of Courts, pleaded guilty Friday to state charges of theft by taking and violation of oath of office.

McCord, 62, received a 10-year sentence as part of the negotiated plea deal, of which four will be served and the remaining six will be spent on probation.

The four-year sentence will run concurrent with the 24-month sentence she received last month on federal tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud charges. McCord pleaded guilty to those charges in June.

Late last month, Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin denied a plea without explanation. During Fridays hearing, Judge Gosselin went into more detail, stating that, My decision is that this is more serious and I think you should serve more time.

The original deal would not have required McCord to serve additional time.

McCord was charged with stealing in excess of $140,000 from the clerk of courts offices passport filing fees over the course of several years. She was arrested on the charges in February 2010 and resigned from her office of more than 17 years in March 2010.

Authorities claim that between 2005 and 2009, McCord wrote checks to herself out of a clerks office account that totaled more than $211,000. As the clerk of courts she was only entitled to $60,000 of fees paid to her office during that time.

The plea deal is still contingent on McCord paying $15,000 in restitution to Dawson County to cover the countys insurance deductible. The county has already received insurance payments that cover the theft. McCords side will be issuing a quit claim to the county to cover the restitution while they await the pending sale of a piece of property.

Northeastern Judicial District Attorney Lee Darragh said following the hearing Friday that he was glad to resolve the case so that the county can move forward.

In the event she does not make the $15,000 in restitution ... then the sentence proposed today would be null and void and wed be starting over, Darragh said.

McCord told Judge Gosselin on Friday that she simply let things get out of hand.

My office was pretty out of control, not everybody, but there were a couple that were out of control, McCord said. I wasnt the bookkeeper and I didnt control the whole situation. I just didnt pay close attention.

Local authorities began investigating McCords office after discovering that Donna Sheriff, her chief deputy clerk, had written two dozen checks to a former contract worker on a courts account.

Sheriff and the contract worker, Justin Disharoon, pleaded guilty to theft charges in 2010. Their sentencing was delayed until McCords was settled.

Darragh said that the case should be resolved in the next few months.