Hobson City clerk charged with using office for personal gain
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Aug 08, 2013 | 10811 views |  0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shelia Jones
Shelia Jones
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The town clerk of Hobson City was arrested Wednesday on two charges of using her position to benefit herself.

Shelia Jones, 38, of Anniston turned herself in to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office Wednesday and was released the same day on an $8,000 bond, according to court records.

Jones is charged with tampering with governmental records and obstructing government operations, both misdemeanors. A trial has been set for Sept. 3.

Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory said by phone Thursday that as town clerk Jones is responsible for managing payroll, and she was using that position to avoid paying her own wage garnishments.

“She was overriding the system,” McCrory said.

The Town Council voted to hire Jones on a temporary basis in November, pending a background check. Based on the results of that initial check, McCrory considered requesting a more thorough, nationwide check, but that was never done, McCrory said.

Jones replaced former clerk Jesse Lancaster.

The town may have to pay back the wages that should have been garnished, McCrory said, but did not know exactly how much that might cost.

Reached by phone Thursday, Jones said she is “innocent until proven guilty. I’m innocent of all charges.”

The council will consider Jones’ employment with the town at Monday’s council meeting, McCrory said.

“We definitely don’t need anybody like that in this office,” McCrory said.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.
Editors note: This story was updated to correct information concerning Jones' background check.
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