County jail employee charged in $10K theft

The District Attorney's Office on Thursday charged a former food service manager at the Moffat County Jail with felony theft on suspicion of bilking the jail of more than $10,000.

Sandy Herndon, 50, is charged with two counts of theft of between $500 and $15,000, both Class 4 felonies.

If convicted, Herndon faces between two and six years in prison. In addition to prison time, Herndon may also face $500,000 in fines.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Stern said prosecutors plan to seek restitution in the case.

The first count against Hern--don says that she is suspected of stealing on at least two occasions between May 4, 2005, and Nov. 3, 2005. Between $500 and $15,000 was taken from from Moffat County. The second count is the same, but it says that Herndon is suspected of stealing from the county between Nov. 4, 2005 and May 12, 2006.

An audit of Moffat County government departments last month turned up $10,000 missing from the jail's inmate commissary account.

The commissary is a store where inmates spend their own money on products such as toiletries and candy.

As food service manager, Herndon was responsible for managing the commissary account and making bank deposits, according to the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, which runs the jail.

Herndon was fired as a result of an investigation into the missing money in the commissary account, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office last month.

Herndon worked at the jail for five years before being fired.

No other employees at the jail were fired or reprimanded as a result of the audit.

Colorado law does not require that Herndon be arrested, Stern said, but she will have to be fingerprinted and have a mug shot taken.

Fingerprinting probably will take place after the first court appearance, Stern said.

Herndon's first court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

The charges filed Thursday list 11 possible witnesses for the prosecution, including five Sheriff's Office employees. The witness list includes Sheriff Buddy Grinstead, Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg and jail administrator Dean Herndon, who is Sandy Herndon's brother-in-law.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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