Irwin Clerk Arrested - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Irwin Clerk Arrested

September 22, 2006

Ocilla - - A woman who works in the justice system now faces criminal charges. Irwin County Clerk of Superior Court Sharon Martin was arrested this week after sheriff's deputies say she used county money to write personal checks.

Just about everyone here has heard the word.

 "Someone called me early this morning and asked me if I heard about it I said no I hadnt. Later on I got a phone call and they told me it definitely was true. News travels fast in a small town," says resident Anniece Lee. 

News that Superior Court Clerk Sharon Martin is accused of using more than $17,000 in county money for personal use last month.

She's charged with theft by conversion.

"You think people in places like this you think that they are doing good and everything but you got people out there doing wrong," says resident Nathaniel Brown.

He is disturbed by the news, especially since Martin is an elected official.

"You think you doing good by putting them in there and you wind up regretting you put them in there."

Sheriff's Deputies didn't have to work too hard to catch the clerk. According to the district attorney here, Martin turned herself in.

She's not at work here in her office today. Since the arrest, she requested a leave of absence.

"At one time in my life I would've said I didnt think it would happen here but times have changed and people have changed," Lee says.

"I just pray that we don't run into nobody else like that," Brown says.

Because even elected officials aren't above the law. 

District Attorney Paul Bowden says the money came from a county escrow account. That's an account where money is held from pending lawsuits. It's also used for wages and garnishment.

If an elected official is indicted on a felony charge, Governor Sonny Perdue will form a commission to review if that official should keep their job.

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