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FAYETTE, Sanpete County — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against a former town clerk of Fayette accused of stealing $229,000 in public funds since 2009.
Tracy Kay Mellor, 63, is charged in 6th District Court with nine counts of misuse of public money, a third-degree felony.
Mellor quit her job in January following a confrontation with new Mayor Brenda Liefson over two missing checks, according to a police affidavit filed in court. Liefson then began to review the town's bank statements and "started finding things that concerned her."
The mayor said she began discovering "many checks" written from the town to R&T's dating back to 2009.
"The mayor informed me that R&T's is the business owned by the former Town Clerk Tracy Mellor and her husband Randy. Brenda further explained there were no invoices for services performed by R&T's in the town's records," the affidavit states.
A Sanpete County sheriff's deputy reviewed documents from monthly Town Council meetings that included "altered bank statements where Tracy had changed the returned checks' copies listing R&T's to a litany of vendor's names previously used by the town of Fayette" in an "obvious indication of her deception towards the Town Council," the affidavit states.
"Due to the sheer volume of Tracy's alleged fraud," 37 transactions from January 2014 to May 2015 were submitted to prosecutors for potential criminal charges, according to the affidavit.
Mellor appropriated public money "to her own use or benefit or to the use or benefit of another," according to charging documents.
Three previous town mayors told the deputy that R&T's never provided a service to the town and two mayors identified "numerous" signatures forging their names, the affidavit states.
A Facebook post from the sheriff's office says "approximately $229,000" was transferred from the town's account to her personal account.
The Utah State Auditor's Office assisted in the investigation.