Former Winona City Clerk, Terri Denton, Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison Followed by Five Years Probation, Restitution and Letter of Apology to the City
Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that former City Clerk for Winona, Missouri, Terri Denton, has been sentenced, following a June 4, 2019 guilty plea to one count of the class C felony of Receiving Stolen Property in the Circuit Court of Shannon County.
“Our public officials should operate with honesty and integrity. I’m pleased to see that justice was served in the case of former City Clerk of Winona, Terri Denton, who stole thousands of taxpayer dollars from the city. This is yet another example of the Attorney General’s Office working to root out fraud and corruption across Missouri,” said Attorney General Schmitt.
Denton was employed as City Clerk between 2015 and 2017. Following a complaint by the Chief of Police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State Auditor’s Office investigated the alleged mismanagement of funds by Denton. Auditors discovered that several thousands of dollars in cash were not deposited while Denton was employed as City Clerk. Investigators with the Missouri Highway Patrol interviewed Denton, who admitted to the theft of “somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000” in cash that had accumulated in the city vault. Denton admitted that the cash was used to pay personal expenses.
At sentencing, Shannon County Associate Circuit Judge Sandra West sentenced Denton to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and placed Denton on 5 years supervised probation. She was also ordered to serve thirty days shock incarceration immediately in the Shannon County Jail. Denton will also have to complete one hundred hours of community service and pay $4,000 in restitution, with interest. Finally, Denton was ordered to write a letter of apology to the City of Winona for her theft.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, the State Auditor’s Office, and Missouri Attorney General Investigator David Southard investigated this case. Assistant Attorney General Tony Brown prosecuted the case.