HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point Mayor Bernita Sims was indicted on Monday afternoon by a Guilford County grand jury for allegedly writing a worthless $7,000 check as part of an estate settlement, according to Assistant Guilford County Clerk of Court Adrienne Adams.
Sims was indicted on one felony count of passing a worthless check. The charge is a Class H felony due to involving more than $2,000.
The indictment has a time stamp of Nov. 13 at 2:47 p.m.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Sims had not been served the indictment. Adams said Sims likely won't be served before Tuesday.
The bill of indictment states Sims "unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did draw, make, utter or issue and deliver to [Annie Ponce]" a check from a First Bank account in High Point that Sims "knew at the time ... did not have sufficient funds on deposit with the bank with which to pay the check."
According to Noelle Talley, N.C. Department of Justice public information officer, the SBI investigated the case and attorneys with the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division are prosecuting it.
In October, the City Council voted 6-3 asking Sims to resign, citing an investigation into the matter and the mayor's unpaid state income taxes and a city utility bill delinquency. During that hearing, Sims reiterated she will not resign from office.
“Judge me on my work, judge me on what I do. Don’t judge me on a utility bill that has paid. Don’t judge me on an allegation around a check… that has been paid. Judge me on whether or not we’re doing the work, and I would say we are,” said Mayor Sims.
Despite the meeting, city council members have no legal right to force Sims to leave office and there is no recall system in High Point. However, council members wanted their opinions heard and their thoughts on the record.
Documents also showed she had neglected to pay city utility bills and owed thousands of dollars in taxes. The city was asked to garnish her wages in order to pay back those debts to the state.
In October, Sims said “the issue surrounding the $7,000 check? It has been paid. The issue around the utilities? Have been paid. The issue around the taxes have subsequently been paid. So I look at all that? Is it news? Maybe so,” she paused. “There are politicians out there with much larger issues than I have.”
FOX8 approached Mayor Sims both before and after the Council meeting Monday night to ask for a comment regarding the indictment. She refused to comment to the media both times.