The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
A sheriff’s office is probably the last place you’d think someone would steal from – but that’s what Florida paralegal Pamela Foxx, a long-time employee of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) in Lake City has been accused of – stealing $100,000 from her employer over a three-year period.
According to multiple media reports, Foxx was arrested at her home on Saturday, April 24, 2010, and charged with first degree grand theft. WJXT Jacksonville reported:
Detectives said that Foxx has admitted to taking money and depositing it into her personal bank account. They said the theft started in 2007 and totaled more than $100,000.
Foxx has been placed on administrative leave without pay, and on Saturday was being held on a $30,000 bond.
The CCSO press release about this incident states that Foxx became a legal assistant for the agency in 2003 and then became a paralegal in 2005. The release adds:
“The charge against Pamela Foxx is not a reflection of the employees of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, says Sheriff Mark Hunter. “This was an isolated incident. The public can be assured that their Sheriff’s Office is staffed by the highest caliber of people who do a great job day in and day out.”
The same is true of paralegals, legal assistants and other legal professionals who do a great job day in and day out in positions where they are trusted with both money and client confidences. I hate to see anyone, much less another paralegal, accused of theft, but when I see a case confirmed with a guilty plea or a conviction, I can’t help but wonder if any amount of money is worth the potential loss of not only a salaried job with benefits, an established career, and your integrity – but also your freedom.