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Ex-clerk ordered to repay $153K she embezzled from Sanpete County town

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - Nov. 27, 2018 at 11:01 a.m.

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MANTI — A former town clerk in rural Sanpete County has been ordered to spend 45 days in jail and repay more than $150,000 she stole from Fayette, population 250.

Tracy Kay Mellor was sentenced Nov. 21 after admitting to three counts of misuse of public money, a third-degree felony, in 6th District Court last month. She was allowed to spend Thanksgiving with her family and start the jail term afterward, said deputy Sanpete County attorney Wes Mangum.

Mellor, 63, quit her job in January after the town's mayor, Brenda Leifson, confronted her over missing checks and later discovered more checks written to a business owned by Mellor and her husband, court documents state. The town did not owe any money to R&T Repair, she admitted to court documents.

She originally was charged with nine counts of misusing public money dating back nearly a decade. She ultimately pleaded guilty to just the three counts as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. The statute of limitations expired on the earlier allegations, Mangum said.

She was ordered to pay $153,390 in restitution.

Leifson also is the focus of an investigation into whether she and a Fayette Town Council member inappropriately used city money. A Sanpete County sheriff's detective found in October that $4,000 in city checks were cut for a cemetery sprinkler system project to be done by the councilwoman at a discount. But no invoice was found, according to a recently unsealed search warrant affidavit.

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