Two Fairfax County Circuit Court employees, who worked at the public service counter dealing with citizens all day, have been arrested and charged with grand larceny from the county, Fairfax police said yesterday.
On Friday afternoon, police arrested Helen Sokos, 25, of Triangle and Kristie Andrews, 28, of Woodbridge as they left the courthouse after work. In addition to grand larceny, Sokos was charged with possession of marijuana.
Both women posted bond and were released from jail the next day. They have been placed on administrative leave from the county pending the outcome of the case.
Sokos and Andrews handled the issuances of marriage licenses, applications for notaries public and the filing of charters and financing statements at a desk on the third floor of the courthouse. Sokos has worked for the county for four years, Andrews for three.
The public service desk accepts cash payments for fees ranging from $2.50 to $55. A source familiar with the case, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said that in the past two weeks, authorities received a tip that improprieties might be occurring in the office. A hidden surveillance camera was installed, which allegedly captured an unspecified illegal act, the source said.
No lawyer had entered an appearance on Andrews's behalf yesterday. Sokos is represented by Demetrios C. Pikrallidas, who said, "Helen maintains her innocence. She's never taken anything from the county."
Pikrallidas said the dollar amount allegedly stolen is no more than $250. Theft of more than $200 is grand larceny under Virginia law.
Sokos's attorney said she is a single mother who works a second job as a waitress. "If this girl was embezzling from the county, she wouldn't be working at a pizzeria," Pikrallidas said. "She doesn't live extravagantly."