County Court Clerk Steals $100K, Gets Suspended Sentence

A former Sevier County Court Clerk who admitted he stole nearly $100,000 from the county avoided jail time Wednesday by pleading guilty to theft and official misconduct charges, reports the News Sentinel.
Joe Thomas Keener, who resigned in August 2010 after manning the elected post for more than 18 years, received a suspended 10-year prison sentence that he’ll serve on supervised probation, 4th Judicial Circuit District Attorney General James B. Dunn said following a hearing in Sevier County Circuit Court.
Prosecturors contend Keener, 50, stole $94,645.50 in cash from the clerk’s office between July 1 and Aug. 16, 2010.
In accordance with an agreement reached between prosecutors and defense attorney Wade Davies, Keener pleaded guilty to charges of official misconduct and theft of more than $60,000, received the suspended prison sentence and is required to repay $14,109 in restitution for an audit conducted by Sevier County. He must also complete 500 hours of community service work.
Dunn said Keener has already repaid all of the money he stole from the county.

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