Former sheriff's employee charged

A former employee of the Cole County Sheriff’s Department has been charged with stealing from the department.

Deborah Thomas, 38, of 1704 Bunker Hill Road, was charged Thursday with two counts of felony stealing.

One count alleges Thomas took funds from June 1, 2010, to Aug. 31, 2011, using the sheriff’s department MasterCard credit card for personal use to make purchases for a total amount of $15,739.52.

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A second count alleges Thomas took funds from June 1, 2011, to June 30, 2011, using the sheriff’s department Walmart credit card. The amount taken with this card was not released in the court documents.

Court records showed Thomas was released on a $5,000 bond on Thursday. She is scheduled to appear in court in December.

On Thursday, Cole County Sheriff Greg White confirmed Thomas was the employee that was pointed out in an audit done by Williams Keepers in July. The audit noted concerns over grant management in the sheriff’s department. Fiscal year 2010 was the first year the sheriff's department administered these grants, which had been administered by Jefferson City.

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