Palma Settlement

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The case of a former Simpson County sheriff accused of stealing $23,000 from the county, settles for $12,000 less than what he owed.

Court documents show the civil action between Joe Palma and Simpson County was settled on Jan. 10, 2007.

Palma filed Chapter Seven Bankruptcy. He paid the county $10,969 and the case was dismissed.

“We decided early on, that about 16 or 17-thousand-dollars was pursuable in court. So we went for that based on the law and decided to take the settlement, which the judge said was a fair number,” said Jim Henderson, Simpson Country judge-executive.

The Simpson County Fiscal Court filed suit against Palma in 2004, after an audit showed he owed the county $23,000. Palma avoided jail time when he entered an “Alford plea” to three felony counts and one misdemeanor.

An “Alford plea” means he is not admitting guilt but believes the evidence is strong enough for a jury to convict him.

To view paperwork concerning this settlement, click here.