JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A "highly trusted" county official stole more than $1 million from the government before she killed herself while under investigation this spring, officials said Thursday.
Jessica Mixon (search), 56, admitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on April 22 that she took about $200,000 a year as financial manager for the Nassau County court clerk's office. One week later, she shot herself in the chest in a motel room.
She said she had taken $875,000 since October 1999, but an audit over a longer period showed the losses totaled $1,068,000, county Clerk of Court John Crawford said Thursday.
When Mixon confessed, she told investigators none of the money was left and mentioned she enjoyed taking gambling trips. FDLE agent Dominick Pape said he didn't believe she was a gambling addict, but investigators were aware of at least one trip to Las Vegas.
Mixon was supposed to deposit the money, which came from such things as traffic fines and court fees, into a special bank account, Crawford said.
"She held the keys to the kingdom by herself," he said. "She was a highly trusted individual." She had worked for the county since 1981, officials said.
After her suicide, authorities decided to continue the investigation to confirm that no one else was involved. The county is considering civil action against her estate to try to recover the money, authorities said.