Former Bartow Magistrate Clerk, Judge Accused of Stealing Money

A grand jury in Cartersville brought 116 theft by taking charges against Penny Essie Blackmon, 52, now of Billingsley, Alabama.

Updated 10:20 a.m.

Blackmon was employed by Bartow County for more than 15 years, but not reappointed to assistant magistrate judge in 2001, according to Human Resources spokesman Marla Coggins.

Coggins said Blackmon served in these Bartow County Magistrate Court positions:


Blackmon began work for Bartow in October 1989, but left in January 1990 only to return in November 1990 and serve as clerk through January 1993.

Chief Clerk

Blackmon was named chief clerk of Magistrate Court in January 1993.

Assistant Magistrate Judge and Chief Clerk

In November 1995, Blackmon was appointed to assistant magistrate judge and continued as chief clerk of the court.

Clerk of Magistrate Court

From August 1998 to October 2005, Blackmon served as a clerk, having not been reappointed to serve as an assistant judge in 2001. Her employment with the county was terminated in October 2005.

Updated 10 a.m.

Following her arrest, Blackmon was released from jail on a $100,000 bond, Rogers confirmed.

Original Report

A former Bartow magistrate clerk has been accused of stealing money from the county for more than two years.

Penny D. Blackmon, 52, now of Billingsley, Alabama, was arrested by a Bartow County Sheriff's Office deputy yesterday about 2:30 p.m., Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said.

Blackmon faces 116 counts of theft by taking from a government employee for alleged thefts spanning from January 2003 to August 2005, according to the indictment, which was handed down by Bartow's August grand jury in case specially presented by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The former assistant magistrate and chief clerk of Magistrate Court, who in 1998 unsuccessfully sued Bartow County for additional pay, is accused of having unlawful possession of government funds while she was an employee in an "ongoing and continuing offense...," the indictment says. It also indicates the allegations against Blackmon came to light in March 2009.

Check back with Cartersville Patch for updates.

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George Jones October 23, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I think,every office in this and every state and county that handles money should be audited every year by an independant auditor.
Debbie Carroll Hill October 23, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I agree, George.... if nothing else, auditing will (probably) keep you honest!! If you know they are going to do it, you won't be as tempted to steal!
Susie Sunshine October 23, 2012 at 09:09 PM
GOD knows everything...what goes around comes around.
Paul Nally October 27, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I have obtained all of the special presentments, all 166. I've read each one. None say how much money was taken and only some of them specify a specific month, day, and year, the rest only specify a month. As to money figures, the only wording used is "unlawfully appropriate United States Currency". If that language was used to try and obtain a warrant, even from the dumbest judge in this State, they'd get thrown in the trash. Now, I've got to wonder just what's going on?? My biggest question is how did it go on for so long, 3 alleged years, and Judge Tom didn't catch it????
Scrumpty a la cart November 01, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Simply stating my opinion here. Isn't there any new news that you can report on? I'm tired of seeing this story up here for what is now the 9th day in a row. I don't know this woman or her family, it's just old news at this point.


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