Former Southeast Missouri public administrator charged with stealing from those in her care

Friday, October 2, 2009

NEW MADRID - A former New Madrid County official is charged with three counts of stealing from those under her care.

Nancy C. Pardon, who served as the New Madrid County Public Administrator until resigning in August 2008, is accused of a Class B felony of stealing for the theft of at least $25,000 in cash and checks from one of those under her care. Also she is charged with two Class C felonies of stealing for the theft of at least $500 from two others who she was responsible for as the public administrator.

Special prosecuting attorney Douglas S. Pribble with the Missouri Attorney General's office filed the charges in New Madrid County on Sept. 25. Following her appearance Sept. 28 before Judge W. Keith Currie, Pardon was released on her own recognizance and scheduled to return to court on Oct. 7. Currie is an associate circuit judge from Pemiscot County who was appointed after Judge Charles Spitler recused himself from the case because he handles the probate docket in New Madrid County.

In the probable cause statement, Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Dennis A. Overbey stated Pardon was appointed guardian of the estate of Evelyn Barnes, who had two bank accounts. The Probate Court was not advised of the existence of an account containing $35,725.99, Overbey stated.

According to Overbey, within six months the account was drained of all but $81.38, at which time the final amount was withdrawn by Pardon and the account closed. "In six months Nancy Pardon spent $35,725.99 of Ms. Barnes' money on herself. Ms. Barnes did not receive any money from this account once Pardon took control," he stated.

The investigative officer noted several other incidents of Pardon allegedly writing checks to a range of businesses including Trees and Trends, J.C. Penney, Cracker Barrel and Sam's for clothing, jewelry, a 32-inch LCD television and other items. In his investigation, he stated, the nursing home's personnel were not aware of Ms. Barnes receiving any of the items.

Overbey found from January 2005 through April 2006, $7,050 in checks were allegedly written to Billie Sue Whitley and signed by Nancy Pardon for cash. After Whitley was moved into a nursing home, Pardon allegedly continued to write checks to Billie Sue Whitley and sign them for cash in the amount of $2,384.64, however the nursing home's records do not show Ms. Whitley receiving any of the money from the checks.

"It was also discovered that during 2006, after Ms. Whitley had been placed in a nursing home, her Social Security check continued to go into her bank account, but the money was never sent to the nursing home," Overbey stated. While this money totaled $2,013.20, eventually Pardon would provide the nursing home with $1,892, leaving $121.20 for which the investigator could not account.

In another incident Overbey noted Margie Weaver received a monthly pension of $301.20 from Caterpillar that went into a bank account, which Pardon did not report to the Probate Court. When the court brought the pension to Pardon's attention, he stated, she denied any knowledge of it but that same day closed the account.

"Several years of the pension (2005 through 2006 totaling $8,566.80) went unreported and cannot be accounted for," Overbey stated.

Nor could Overbey account for all the $5,000 Pardon received from the sale of Ms. Weaver's house. "The only legitimate expenditure appears to be a preneed burial policy for $2,000..." he stated, adding Ms. Weaver stated she had not received any money from Pardon nor do the nursing home records show any more than $70 deposited in her account.

The Attorney General's office is handling the case on the request of the New Madrid County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

The counts filed are charges. A person's innocence or guilt is determined by a court of law.

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