A former Norfolk Superior Court clerk accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the court he worked in faced a judge today as the clerk’s defense attorney is raising questions about the allegations.
Colin Campbell worked at Norfolk Superior Court collecting cash and checks for various court fees, including bail money. He was charged with felony larceny after state police investigators discovered thousands of dollars in missing or unaccounted for court funds.
The Milton resident worked as an accounts clerk for nearly seven years until allegations surfaced last October that he was stealing money from the court. In all, state police say more than $2,400 in court fees disappeared and as much as $15,000 in attorney fees are unaccounted for.
“He denies taking any funds from the court house,” said attorney Robert Jubinville, who represents Campbell. “I see a lot of circumstantial stuff going on. Bad bookkeeping. But I don't see anybody saying they saw him take any money or that he ever admitted to taking any money.”
After discovering missing bail money, Norfolk Superior Court Clerk Walter Timilty "...contacted Colin by telephone, because he was out sick, and Colin agreed to pay the $1000.00. A court officer drove to his home and his mother gave the court officer $1,000,” according to a state police report.
But Jubinville said, “I'm led to believe that it was done because she feared her son was going to get charged with some crime, and that by giving the money that would end the matter.”
FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet asked, “Was that an admission that he stole money?”
“According to him, he wasn't privy to that,” said Jubinville. “He was in the hospital at the time.”
Jubinville also questions the timing of the case. The allegations against his client surfaced in October. But court officials didn't meet with state police until February.
“Do you think your client is being made a scapegoat here?” FOX Undercover’s Beaudet asked.
“All I know is that that particular courthouse has a big walk-in safe. I know from my own visits to the office that door's always open. And he indicates to me that many people in the courthouse have access to that walk-in safe, and that's where the money was kept,” Jubinville said.
Timilty declined to be interviewed on camera but said he delayed contacting police because he didn't realize how much money was missing right away.
As for the suggestion that other workers took money, Timility says, “I have faith in everybody that works for me. I'm sure the person they charged is the person that took the money. There isn't a doubt in my mind."
Campbell was released on personal recognizance. He'll be back in court in August.
A trial court spokeswoman tells us the court system has been making changes to enhance fiscal oversight.