A former Friendsville employee charged with theft for stealing more than $15,000 from the city took a plea deal in court.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office says 35-year-old Machella Meaghan Gilliam agreed to the deal Monday.

Deputies began investigating Gilliam last April after a state comptroller's office audit revealed missing funds.

Gilliam is a former town clerk.

Friendsville's mayor says the town has adopted a new policy to keep this from happening again.

Gilliam's sentencing is set for June.

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