(KMOV) -- A former Madison County employee was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to two counts of theft and one count of misconduct.
Authorities said Zita Lee was charged with the theft of $31,237 in permit fees from Madison County and $57,577.36 from the Edwardsville American Legion. Lee received 2 1/2 years of probation, the maximum sentence allowed. Lee spent four months in the Madison County Jail awaiting trial on the charges.
Irregularities were initially noticed during an annual audit review of grant funds. Following an extensive audit of all departmental accounts and a subsequent investigation by the Madison County States Attorney’s Office and the Edwardsville Police Department, the case was presented to the grand jury and charges were brought against Lee.
Madison County prosecutors said Lee, while serving as the bookkeeper for the Planning and Development Department, kept cash payments made for building permits and other fees, and attempted to cover the theft by depositing checks from grants awarded by the state and federal governments. Lee resigned from the department while the audit that discovered the missing funds was being conducted.