Panola County Election Officer and AgriLife Secretary accused of stealing 4-H funds

CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) – Two Panola County employees were arrested for embezzling funds from the local 4-H account and resigned the day before their arrest.

Investigators recently discovered that many checks were written without the consent of the account holder’s organization, according to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.

“There was also a check from another local 4-H account that was allegedly tampered with and passed through by the suspects,” Sheriff Kevin Lake said.

Lake said the two courthouse workers were in possession of the 4-H club’s check books and were responsible for issuing checks to organizations as needed.

As the suspects were county employees, the Texas Rangers were contacted and subsequently filed arrest warrants.

Cheyenne Marie Lampley, 42, and Belinda Fay Curry, 46, were charged with theft of property between $ 2,500 and $ 30,000 on Thursday, August 13, according to prison records. Both were released on bail the same day.

Lampley, the county’s election administrator, resigned the day before her arrest, according to Panola County Judge Lee Ann Jones. Loretta Mason was appointed to the post on Thursday, August 13, according to Jones.

Curry, the county extension secretary for AgriLife, also resigned on August 12, the day before her incarceration.

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