By Linda Cicoira — Angela Hinman “Angel” Taylor, the former Hallwood town clerk accused of embezzling from town coffers over several years, was indicted Monday by an Accomack grand jury on 65 felony counts.
In total, the indictments allege that Taylor, 46, of Hall Street in Hallwood, stole $23,801.05 between Aug. 31, 2011, and Sept. 12, 2017. The last incident is said to have occurred just weeks before she was ordered by Hallwood officials to provide town records so an Atlantic bookkeeper could perform an audit. Those records were in Taylor’s car along with all the other town files when the vehicle caught fire on a country road near Hallwood in October 2017.
The car was hauled to a local salvage yard, crushed, and taken away before the officials found out about it. Soon after that, Taylor resigned from her job by leaving a note in the town office for officials to find. She lives about 350 yards from the office and mostly did the town work at her home.
At one point, the mayor reported that more than $32,000 was either paid from town coffers to Taylor for more than her usual salary or was used to pay the electric bill for her home and at her husband’s auto business. It is alleged she had the electric bills set up to be automatically paid by the town through the utility.
Bank records and the electric bills were what enabled officials and the police to acquire evidence against her, officials said. Hallwood Mayor Jackie Poulson and the present clerk, Danny Shrieves, a local minister, obtained the 2017 town budget from an old edition of the Eastern Shore Post, where it had been advertised.
The budget shows the clerk’s salary at $4,200. Checks show she was paid $8,585.42 in 2015, $10,367.69 in 2016, and $7,470 in 2017. Poulson noted that occasionally she was paid extra for being at the office to sell vehicle decals.
Special Agent A.W. Pittman of the state police, who investigated complaints from town officials; Amber Bowen, an ANEC worker; and Poulson were subpoenaed to appear at Taylor’s preliminary hearing. They never testified because Taylor waived her right to the hearing. The case had been continued three other times.
After Taylor quit, Shrieves was given the job of clerk for $350 a month, the same salary Taylor was supposed to be paid. Poulson believes a laptop computer that belongs to the town is still in Taylor’s possession.
The town wound up waiving taxes, trash collection fees, and car decal fees for some residents because it couldn’t prove the bills hadn’t been paid. Poulson said when cash was collected it was not deposited in the bank. Records that were obtainable from the bank showed the town paid $987 to get grass cut that should have totaled about $500.
The indictments allege that Taylor embezzled $305.22 on Aug. 31 and Dec. 29, 2011, and on March 30 and May 29, 2012; $330.22 on Aug. 27 and 31, and Nov. 26, 2012; $330.22 on March 15, June 1, and Sept. 12, 2013; $323.22 on May 31, June 17, Aug. 1 and 21, Sept. 20, Nov. 29, and Dec. 30, 2013; $470.22 on Oct. 1 and 8, 2013; $298.49 on Oct. 17, 2014; $323.22 on Oct. 31 and Dec. 11 and 26, 2014, and Jan. 16, 2015; $759.80 on May 1, 2015; $350 on Jan 16, June 19, Oct. 30, Nov. 23, and Dec. 5, 8, and 12, 2015; $700 on Dec. 15, 2015; $358.80 on Dec. 30, 2015; $350 on Jan. 20, Feb. 4 and 10, March 18, April 29, June 8, July 1, Aug. 22, Sept. 1 and 8, Oct. 4 and 31, and Dec. 12, 19, 24, and 30, 2016; $539.15 on Feb. 8; $526 on Sept. 12, 2016; $339.35 on Dec. 29, 2016; $576.29 on March 8, 2017; $350 on Feb. 15, March 21, 16, and 30, April 10, and Aug. 8 and 31, 2017; $201.32 on April 11, 2017; $625.52 on June 13, 2017; and $208.05 on Sept. 12, 2017.
A trial date has not been set. Taylor is free on bond.