WINTHROP — A longtime deputy clerk in town has resigned in the wake of an investigation into $12,000 in missing town money. It was unclear Friday whether the clerk will face any criminal charges.

Town Council Chairman Kevin Cookson, on behalf of the council, made the announcement Thursday that Deputy Clerk Terri Williams was being investigated and the missing money had been returned.

He said an investigation began after financial irregularities became apparent in April.

“Since that time, an internal investigation and an inquiry by the State Attorney General’s Office concluded that town funds had been misappropriated,” he said. “The employee alleged to have been responsible, Terri Williams, deputy clerk, no longer works for the town.”

Cookson said Friday that Williams submitted a letter of resignation. He also said the missing money — about $12,000, which includes the cost of an audit and other fees — was repaid to the town.

“The council wishes to express, that while economic times may or may not be the reason(s) behind such actions by individuals, that type of action will not be tolerated,” Cookson said.

Williams, who lives in Winthrop and was reached by phone on Friday, declined to comment.

Williams was employed by the town for almost 16 years, according to Town Manager Jeff Woolston.

“During the investigation, several new financial management practices were put into practice which will ensure that such problems will not happen again,” Cookson said in the council’s statement. “The Winthrop Town Council considers this incident closed.”

The council had discussed the investigation in a series of executive sessions dealing with personnel that ended Dec. 5.

Cookson said the council issued a public statement after consulting with the town’s attorney, Lee Bragg. Cookson said he could offer no other details about how or who uncovered the alleged misappropriations.

Local authorities said criminal charges had not been filed against Williams.

“Winthrop police conducted an internal investigation for the manager,” Winthrop Police Chief Joseph Young said Friday. “It is not likely our police department would be conducting any kind of criminal investigation if one were to be done.”

District Attorney Evert Fowle said no reports on the matter had been sent to his office.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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