JAY, Okla. – The former Bernice town clerk accused of stealing almost $55,000 from the rural community pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced to an eight-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay restitution to the town.

Theresa Sue Boyd, 61, of Bernice, pleaded guilty in Delaware County District Court in Jay to embezzlement.

District Judge Barry Denney found Boyd competent to enter the plea.  

Denney ordered Boyd to pay $10,000 before Friday at 5 p.m., and the balance of $44,959.17 restitution be paid in monthly installments.

Boyd was employed as a town clerk from 2012 to 2018 and was one of the town’s purchasing officers, according to an arrest affidavit.  She was also assigned a credit card in the name of the town of Bernice to make purchases for the town, which were to be approved by the board, the affidavit states.

A 2019 private audit report showed over 600 unauthorized purchases, totaling $29,632.95 were made from December 2015 to December 2017 on a credit card assigned to Boyd, the affidavit states.

Some of the unauthorized purchases include a drone, two oven mitts, a Harley Davidson baseball cap, and hair extensions, women’s running shoes, an orthopedic dog’s bed, and kitchen accessories, the affidavit states.

When confronted by the town’s accountant about unapproved expenditures and financial discrepancies, “Boyd always had an excuse,” the affidavit states.