“I hope that this letter will put an end to the countless rumors and unsubstantiated statements surrounding this investigation,” Solicitor Chrissy Adams said in a letter released on Nov. 12. “After a thorough investigation by Sheriff (John) Skipper, my office has reviewed the facts and the relevant case law to make a determination regarding whether or not proof beyond a reasonable doubt of each and every element of a crime can be established in a court of law.”
Generally, a solicitor does not make an investigation without an arrest having occurred, Adams said.
“However, when we are asked by law enforcement to review a case prior to arrest, it is our duty as prosecutors to go well beyond the minimum standard of probable cause for a warrant,” she said.
The investigation focused on two of Jones’ trips: one to Canada in August 2007 and one to China in 2008, Adams said in a letter to Skipper. Both trips show that there were some mistakes and paperwork errors, and that Jones intends to reimburse the county back on certain checks, according to the report.
According to the report, Jones admitted that she used an advance from the county to pay for two mortgages and some smaller bills, but that she planned to work it out with the finance department and repay it.
Jones’ salary in 2008 was $94,131, according to the recently released financial investigation.
“Whether or not the county policy on the per diem rates was violated by Heather Jones is irrelevant for purposes of criminal prosecution against Ms. Jones,” the report states. “The Finance Department approved not only the advances but also approved the higher per diem rates.”
Jones was terminated this past summer, but the county kept the situation low key for a few months. When asked about the termination, interim county Administrator Rusty Burns said he had nothing to say publicly other than that she was no longer with the county.
The investigative report of the county’s finances in the past few years detailed Jones’ expenditures.
Jones has filed a discrimination complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Anderson County. (See related story.)