Re: the alleged theft of over $1 million that has been laid at the feet of Julie Mixon. I do not believe that she could have stolen that amount of money on her own and without anyone else’s knowledge or involvement. No matter how large the department or amount of money moving through it, or how much someone is trusted, you must always have checks and balances with accountability. This is after all, a first and very basic general accounting principal.

Over the time frame that keeps being mentioned, not once did the accounting firm find any discrepancies. It was only when (Clerk of Court) John Crawford came into office that all of a sudden the employees were noticing money problems. The newspapers and television say the investigation is over, but maybe the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should dig a little deeper.

There has to be more to this story than one woman, who did not live a lavish lifestyle, stealing this much money over the amount of years indicated. You cannot convince me the audits from outside, if prepared every year as they should have been, never found these alleged discrepancies in the books, and surely there were internal audits on a regular basis? Taking money for a job that was not done? Why are we not holding the people that took office to run this department accountable for allowing this to happen? It appears if they were not involved, they certainly kept their heads in the sand and avoided their sworn duty. Maybe this so-called confession from Julie Mixon was to cover up for someone else? There have been many stories in print and on television, where the entire truth is not told – like the car that was paid off and the house that was quick-deeded to a sister. The desire to have that headline sensationalism has prevented them from investigating the information and getting the truth.

Julie did purchase a second home in her name for her sister, while her brother-in-law was fighting for his life with cancer. He lost the battle, but her sister is now, and has always, from the start, paid a mortgage on that home. In addition, Julie took out a mortgage on the home she lived in to pay off the car, and several other debts. The savings accounts that she took out for three children were in lieu of buying them toys, and only amounted to small amounts. Certainly not what the media tried to make it appear to be, and not the kind of money the county is talking about her taking.

Julie received monetary settlements for an automobile accident she was in, and also a settlement from a theme park for an accident her son had on the property. This could very well explain the extra money that she used to help her family and friends with. There have been so many stories in print, some with pictures of citizens making uncalled for and cruel remarks, one where a woman stated Julie had done herself and her family a favor by killing herself. That is not only cruel and thoughtless, it is intolerable.

On a personal note, the entire family has no knowledge of the alleged theft. They are trying to deal with Julie’s death. They are being punished for simply having Julie as a much loved family member. They don’t have time to grieve, because they face a new story, mostly untrue, every day. It seems the media looked for a headline story to sell instead of real investigative reporting or cheap shots like the one in the newspapers this past week. I know that after seeing how this incident has played out in the media over the last few weeks, I will never believe the validity of what I see in print or hear on television the same.

Louise Rochester, Fernandina Beach