September 1, 2016
On Tuesday, August 30, Sherry Braley (former Jasper County P&Z and Animal Control Director) was arraigned in Jasper County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty. According to Brent Cochran, with the District Attorney’s office, the paper work will now go to Ms. Braley’s attorney—Charles Taylor with the public defender’s office. Her next court date will not be until November 8, 2016.
Sherry Braley was arrested in June 2015. The GBI warrant states that in excess of $15,000 of public funds were converted, and Ms. Braley was charged with theft by deception. Since then a forensic audit of Planning & Zoning was done at an additional cost to the taxpayers of $26,000 . Now the taxpayer’s also get to pay the public defender’s office for Ms. Braley’s defense!
Melissa Strozier (former Jasper County Senior Center employee) had agreed to a negotiated plea deal on August 16, 2016, which included repaying funds in the amount of $15,055 which had been diverted from the Jasper County Care Corps. According to The Monticello News report, 50 jurors had been called and were dismissed when the plea deal was reached. The cost of the jurors to the taxpayer’s was $1,250.
Sometime after August 16, Ms. Strozier had requested a withdrawal of the plea deal she agreed to, and hired Tim Lam as her new attorney. At her hearing today, her request was denied by Judge Hugh Wingfield.