Dawson County’s former clerk of court will spend the next 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud charges.
Becky McCord, 62, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Gainesville. She pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
“I am so sorry for the pain, hurt and humiliation I caused the people around me,” McCord said before Senior U.S. District Judge William C. O’Kelley handed down the sentence. “... they have the right to expect more from a public servant. I know I have failed.”
She received 24 months for each charge, which she will serve concurrently.
O’Kelley said McCord’s role as a public official was not considered in his sentence.
“There’s been a lot of talk about her as a public official. This court shouldn’t take that into consideration,” O’Kelley said.
“I’m not sentencing on that. That’s up to Dawson County.”
The federal inquiry into her personal finances stemmed from McCord’s arrest in February 2010.
She was accused of taking nearly $120,000 from the Dawson County Clerk of Courts office, where she had served for more than 17 years. McCord resigned the next month.
“The core of this case is public corruption,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Grimberg. “For three years she used her Dawson County account as her personal piggy bank. She used that money to fund her lifestyle.”
According to the arrest warrant, McCord wrote thousands of dollars in checks to herself between 2006-2010 from a passport account set up through her office.
Authorities say she was entitled to nearly $78,000 in fees paid to the office for issuing passports between 2004-2009, yet the checks she wrote on the account totaled more than $200,000.