SPENCER, W.Va. -- Roane County's former chief tax deputy pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzlement and fraud charges, admitting she took $96,000 from the Roane County Sheriff's Department.
Patricia Dougherty, who spent 20 years in the tax office under four sheriffs, resigned in January 2012 over allegations of missing money. State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said troopers from the Spencer detachment had been investigating the allegations.
Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney Shannon Johnson, brought in as special prosecutor on the case, said county officials charged Dougherty in an information last week in Roane County Circuit Court. An information is a court document that cannot be filed without a defendant's permission, and usually indicates a defendant is cooperating with authorities.
Prosecutors charged Dougherty with one count of embezzlement, two counts of falsifying accounts and one count of fraudulent schemes in connection with the scheme. All are felonies.
Dougherty pleaded guilty to all four counts Thursday in front of Roane Circuit Judge David Nibert. Johnson said Dougherty admitted to falsifying deposits in the sheriff's department between August 2010 and December 2011. In all, she embezzled $96,000 in taxpayer money.
Dougherty is to be sentenced on Feb. 3, Johnson said.