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updated: 5/28/2014 11:25 AM

Former SIU-Carbondale clerk accused of theft

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Associated Press

CARBONDALE -- The top administrator at Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus says there's now tighter oversight after a former employee was charged with stealing thousands of dollars.

Forty-two-year-old Kathy Howerton of Herrin is charged with felony theft. Authorities allege she was working as chief clerk when she stole $33,000 from the university's Student Health Center between August 2011 and May of last year.

She has pleaded not guilty and is set to stand trial in July.

Chancellor Rita Cheng says the missing funds were noticed by another employee who was filling while Howerton was on vacation.

Cheng says the university has insurance to cover the lost funds and has changed its oversight process.

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