Small-Town Workers Charged With Stealing More Than $200,000

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) —

Two one-time clerks from a north Alabama town were charged with stealing more than $200,000 by forging checks, making up work hours and buying items with credit and debit cards, authorities said.

Shannon James, 43, who worked as town clerk for Garden City, and 39-year-old Leslie Johnson, who was the utility clerk, were charged with ethics violations, theft of public funds and possession of forged documents, authorities in Cullman County said Tuesday.

Located along the Cullman-Blount county line, with town of about 500 people is located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Birmingham. The town council voted to place both James and Johnson on leave after a closed-door meeting on Sept. 20 but didn't give a reason, The Cullman Times reported.

Court records weren't available Wednesday to show whether either woman had an attorney who could speak on their behalf.