Hot Sheet

Second Center clerk headed to federal prison

Author: Kara Mason - July 14, 2017 - Updated: July 14, 2017

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The Town Hall in Center, in Colorado’s San Luis Valley: an unfortunate history with town clerks. (sangres.com)

The second city clerk in the small southern Colorado town of Center, north of Alamosa in the San Luis Valley, has resigned this week to possibly serve time in federal prison for tax-related fraud, according to the Center Post Dispatch.

In March, Joan Mobley pled guilty to “a false statement charge and two aggravated identity theft charges in connection with faking the completion of taxpayer audits and falsely signing documents of taxpayers claiming they agreed to pay additional taxes,” according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Mobley was an IRS agent in the Albuquerque office prior to her conviction and working as the city clerk in Center — according to the Dispatch, Mobley had been working as the clerk since April 2015. She faces up to five years in prison and is required to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $39,738.32.

“Her departure came on the heels of a tip from a local resident, unraveling the true story of Mobley’s resignation and offering an explanation for her periodic absences from her duties with the town over the past few years,” writes the Dispatch’s Teresa Benns.

This all comes around a little more than a decade after Center Town Clerk Bill McClure had to resign his position to serve five months at ADX in Florence for tax fraud. McClure was a tax preparer and a Saguache County Commissioner when he committed the crime, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Benns also addresses in her story the most obvious question here: How did Center officials not know about Mobley’s past, especially after experiencing one clerk being put away for a similar offense?

A source told the reporter s/he couldn’t remember if a background check was ever run on Mobley.

Kara Mason

Kara Mason

Kara Mason covers southern Colorado, Aurora and statewide issues for ColoradoPolitics.com. She also writes for the Aurora Sentinel.