Panola County elections administrator, AgriLife secretary accused of stealing 4-H funds

Lampley, left, Curry, right, were both arrested on Thursday, Aug. 14.
Lampley, left, Curry, right, were both arrested on Thursday, Aug. 14.(Panola County Jail)
Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 9:54 AM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) - Two Panola County employees have been arrested for misusing funds from the local 4-H account, and resigned the day before their arrests.

Investigators recently discovered numerous checks had been written without consent from the account holder’s organization, according to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.

“There was also a check from another local 4-H account that was alleged to have been forged and passed by the suspects,” said Sheriff Kevin Lake.

Lake said the two courthouse employees had been in possession of the 4-H club’s checkbooks, and were responsible for issuing checks to the organizations as needed.

Since the suspects were county employees, the Texas Rangers were contacted and later filed arrest warrants.

Cheyenne Marie Lampley, 42, and Belinda Fay Curry, 46, were booked on charges of theft of property between $2,500 to $30,000 on Thursday, Aug. 13, according to jail records. Both were released the same day on bond.

Lampley, the county’s elections administrator, resigned the day before she was arrested, according to Panola County Judge Lee Ann Jones. Loretta Mason was appointed to fill the position on Thursday, Aug. 13, according to Jones.

Curry, the county’s AgriLife Extension Secretary, also resigned on Aug. 12, the day before she was booked into jail.

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