High Point Mayor Bernita Sims resigns, pleads guilty to felony

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Mayor Bernita Sims submitted her resignation this morning effective at 11 a.m., according to High Point Communications Officer Jeron Hollis.

Sims faced controversy in the past year.

Sims was indicted in November 2013 by a Guilford County grand jury for allegedly writing a worthless $7,000 check as part of an estate settlement.

The bill of indictment said 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 Sims' attorney David Freedman, Sims pled guilty today to a felony worthless check charge.

She was sentenced to a four to 14 month suspended sentence, five years probation and must spend the first six months of her sentence under house arrest. She also was fined $500.

Freedman said Sims has already made a $7,000 restitution payment.

"As a result of recent events in my personal life, I am resigning as Mayor of High Point effective immediately," Sims said in a letter to Mayor Pro Tem Jim Davis.

Freedman said Sims did not want the title of mayor when she plead guilty. He described her as "remorseful, humiliated and embarrassed." He added she made an "awful mistake and has taken full responsibility."

Sims declined to seek another term as mayor in July.

Davis will assume the duties of mayor with Sims' resignation.

A new mayor will be decided on Nov. 4 in the General Election.