This a follow-up to this story Macon Elections Director Elects For Guilty Plea
Kimberly Michelle Bishop, 44, of Franklin served as director of Macon County’s Board of Elections for more than 11 years, during which time she issued almost $70,000 worth of paychecks to people who were not on the county’s payroll. In some cases, Bishop endorsed the checks and kept the money for herself.
She was sentenced July 5 to six months in prison for embezzling public funds, followed by three years of supervised release- the first six months of which will be served under home detention. She was also ordered to pay $68,705.26 as restitution.
She pleaded guilty in February to one count of program fraud.
Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, announced the sentence in a press release on July 6.
“Bishop abused the trust placed in her by the public. As a director on the Board of Elections, Bishop stole public money to enrich herself and her lifestyle. She is now a federally convicted felon, a title she earned through her greed and theft,” said Rose. “Federal laws are very effective in addressing this type of corruption – let this be a message to other elected officials who may seek to violate the public’s trust through illegal activity.”
Bishop served as director of the Board of Elections (BOE) for Macon County from 2002 to January 2014. As the elections director, she had access to the BOE’s expense budget and was authorized to initiate check requests to pay for BOE-related services. According to court records, beginning in about June 2013 and continuing through January 2014, court records show that Bishop submitted check request forms and caused checks to be issued to four individuals to supposedly pay for their work on behalf of BOE. BOE had not, in fact, approved these four individuals as BOE workers and they were not on the county’s payroll.
Bishop has admitted in court that in order to cash these checks, on some occasions she forged the endorsement signature of the payee and signed her own name on the back of the checks, then cashed them at local financial institutions. On other occasions, court records show that two of the named payees would sign their names as endorsers, cash the checks and split the money with the defendant. In total, Bishop’s embezzlement scheme caused Macon County to issue checks for over $68,000.