During an upcoming sentencing hearing, the U.S. Attorney's Office plans to recommend that a federal judge sentence former Beaufort County Clerk of Court Elizabeth Smith to jail time for misusing federal child support enforcement funds, a prosecutor says.
Smith, 48, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in March to one count of conversion of public funds for writing five checks worth $338,500 to pay her husband's salary while he oversaw the Beaufort County Drug Court between January 2006 and June 2009. The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge Sol Blatt accepted Smith's plea in April.
Prosecutor Winston Holliday of the U.S. Attorney's Office said a date for the sentencing hearing has not been set but said he plans to recommend Smith serve some time in jail.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
"I am reviewing her pre-sentence report now," Holliday said of the filing submitted by the U.S. Probation Office. "We will likely recommend a sentence of incarceration in line with what the pre-sentence report indicates. At this point, I can't get any more detailed."
Smith is currently serving five years of probation after being convicted by a Beaufort County jury in September of embezzlement of public funds and misconduct in office for writing checks worth $23,500 from public accounts to help pay for insurance premiums for relatives and a vacation home on Pawleys Island.
The federal indictment against Smith was handed down the day after Smith was found guilty in state court.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.