March 27, 2008
Butler, Mo. — The former executive director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce was sentenced today to five years in the Department of Corrections for felony stealing and ordered to pay $47,337 in restitution. Attorney General Jay Nixon filed the charges against Sandra (Sandy) Cox (DOB – 12/10/61) of Clinton on Dec. 20, 2006, alleging she 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 Attorney General’s Office was appointed as special prosecutor in the case due to a conflict of interest by the Henry County Prosecuting Attorney. Today’s sentencing took place in Bates County, on a change of venue from Henry County.
After Circuit Judge James Journey ordered a suspended execution of sentence, the defendant was placed on five years’ probation. She is ordered to pay the restitution in full within five years.
A probable cause statement filed with the charges stated 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 alleged 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.