Ex-city clerk pleads guilty to embezzlement

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NITRO, W.Va. (AP) — A former West Virginia municipal clerk pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling at least $70,000 from the city.

Former Nitro Municipal Clerk Robin Smith, 61, pleaded guilty to a felony count of embezzlement, WCHS-TV reported.

Auditors began investigating Smith last year and found thousands of dollars in cash hidden throughout two room and uncashed checks dating back to 2001.

“This wasn’t one place, one file,” Nitro Police Chief Bobby Eggleton previously said. “We found cash, we found $9000 in one location. We went through other locations and found other cash and money orders.”

Smith said she would pay back $70,000 in restitution to the city as part of her plea deal but investigators said the amount she embezzled over the years could be much higher then that.

A sentencing hearing has been set for March 25. Smith faces up to 10 years in prison. She may also lose her state retirement benefits.

Nitro is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Charleston.