Sebring police chief's secretary fired for fraud

Posted at 11:08 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 23:08:05-05

The secretary for the Sebring Police Chief is out of a job after refusing to cooperate in an internal investigation looking into allegations that she stole money from the department.

Vicki Hicks worked as an executive assistant for the Sebring Chief of Police for 13 years.

Late last month she was suspended after the sheriff's office arrested her for stealing more than 100-thousand dollars from her elderly father.

Investigators acted on a tip from DCF.

"She did have legal access to the account but the father states that he never gave her permission to take that money," said Sheriff Susan Benton with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office.

It was during the tedious task of sifting through bank statements when detectives discovered something even stranger.

They said they found stacks of checks made out to the City of Sebring deposited in the victim's account, that Hicks had access to.

As a secretary, Hicks often accepted checks made out to the city or the police department.

"Clearly to us there was ample evidence that something wasn't right and potentially we're dealing with a significant theft of city funds," Benton said.

Although her team of detectives are still working to get to the bottom of it, the theft is believed to be in the thousands of dollars.

So far, Hicks only faces charges for the alleged theft from her father.

"We all want to get to the bottom of how the systems in place failed to allow for something like what is alleged to occur," she said.

The city hired a forensic accountant to help sort the mess out and help find the missing money.