Former Wayne County Clerk Melissa Turpin has entered an Alford plea of

guilty in Franklin Circuit Court to two counts of willfully filing or making

a false tax return to the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet.

The charges were for the tax years of 2007 and 2008, when audit reports

of the Wayne County Clerk's Office indicated that approximately $139,986 was

missing from the fee account.

An Alford plea means that the defendant admits that sufficient evidence

exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to

find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Turpin pled guilty last fall to two counts of abuse of a public trust

over $10,000 and two counts of theft by unlawful taking over $300 in Wayne

Circuit Court, after she was indicted for the missing funds. She served 60

days in the county jail and is currently completing an additional four

months of home incarceration since then.

The remainder of her 10-year sentence was probated.

The Franklin County indictment was handed down in December and Turpin

was set to go to trial on the tax charges on April 14.

According to Larry Cleveland, Common-wealth's Attorney for Franklin

County, Turpin entered the guilty plea on Monday, April 5.

The plea agreement states that Turpin did not report or pay taxes on the

$139,986 that the audit revealed was missing. It recommends a five year

sentence on each charge to run concurrent with each other and Turpin's

sentence in Wayne Circuit Court.

In the plea agreement, Cleveland took no position regarding probation

on the condition that the defendant file "accurate tax returns satisfactory

to the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet" and pay any tax obligations.

Formal sentencing has been set for May 7 at 9 a.m. in Franklin Circuit


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