Circuit clerk resigns, pleads guilty to embezzlement

BROOKHAVEN — The longtime circuit clerk of Lincoln County has resigned after pleading guilty to failing to properly deposit county money.

Terry Lynn Watkins, 57, of Brookhaven, had been set to stand trial on embezzlement charges today.

As part of her guilty plea, Watkins had to resign and agree not to run for circuit clerk again. She was starting her fifth term.

The state auditor’s office says Watkins entered the guilty plea Friday. On Jan. 29, 2011, the auditor’s office demanded that Watkins repay $98,084. An auditor’s letter says that included the misused money, plus recovery costs.

A news release from the auditor’s office says Watkins withdrew money from the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Court accounts and deposited it into the clerk’s operating account for personal use between May and December 2004.

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