December 20, 2006
Clinton, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon has filed felony stealing charges against the former executive director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce. The charges, filed today in Henry County Circuit Court, allege Sandra (Sandy) Cox (DOB - 12/10/61) of Clinton stole money from the chamber by purchasing personal items on chamber credit cards and claiming they were business expenses, and by using chamber gift certificates for personal expenses. The stealing allegedly took place from November 2004 to September 2006. The Attorney General's Office was appointed as special prosecutor in the case due to a conflict of interest by the Henry County Prosecuting Attorney.
A probable cause statement filed with the charges says that in October 2006, the president of the chamber reported to the Clinton Police Department that the chamber had experienced a theft by an employee, Executive Director Sandy Cox. Cox allegedly admitted to the chamber president that she had taken $2,555 by using credit cards issued to the chamber and falsified her expense reports to have the chamber pay for personal expenses. The statement also alleges that an accountant retained by the chamber reviewed charges on four credit cards and found additional entries were unauthorized in excess of $20,000, and that there was a deficit of more than $500 in a bank account utilized for the chamber's gift certificate program. Cox allegedly confessed that she failed to pay for up to $500 worth of chamber gift certificates that she issued to herself and family members.
Felony stealing is a Class C felony punishable upon conviction by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As in all criminal cases, the charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.