The Dawson County commission voted Thursday to officially declare a loss in an effort to recover the nearly $225,000 in funds taken from the local Clerk of Courts office.
The missing money was discovered earlier this year during separate criminal investigations that led to the arrests of former Clerk of Courts Becky McCord, 61, and Donna Sheriff, 42, McCord’s chief deputy clerk.
The two women and a third person were charged with taking $224,940 from clerk of court accounts.
Last month, Sheriff and cohort Justin Disharoon, 22, both of Dawsonville, pleaded guilty to their role in the theft of more than $81,000.
McCord’s case remains active.
“This kind of fraud always comes out in the end,” said Gary Pichon, vice chair of the commission. “It cannot be concealed forever, and we will recover some of that money and attempt to get it all back.”
McCord and Sheriff each were bonded for $25,000, as the state requires for some public officials.
The remaining $175,000 will be filed as a loss with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia-Interlocal Risk Management Agency, the county’s insurance provider.
Declaring that a loss has occurred is the first step in the process to recoup the funds, said Jay Sessions, the county’s human resources director.
“It will start off with the bonds that are covered and then our general liability and theft coverage will take effect,” Sessions said.