North Miami Beach city worker accused of stealing Publix gift cards meant for giveaway

Police: Jennifer Hillmon, 33, arrested, fired

Jennifer Hillmon (MDCR/Copyright 2023 Google)

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A North Miami Beach city employee was arrested Thursday morning after police accused her of stealing $1,200 in Publix gift cards meant for a city giveaway and spending most of the money.

Jennifer Hillmon, 33, worked as a public affairs employee with the city, according to her arrest report.

Police said Hillmon, who has since been fired, spent $1,137.82 of the $1,200 in gift cards, eight in total, at various Publix stores, including one in Coconut Creek, from March to this month.

According to the police report, the gift cards were purchased with COVID-19 relief funds. A bundle of cards had been purchased as part of a controversial giveaway event put on by a then-city commissioner who was up for reelection at the time.

The city had previously lost track of several gift cards, raising concerns over possible mismanagement of federal taxpayer funds.

Hillmon, a British national who lives in Tamarac, was arrested on charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud and was held in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $10,000 bond.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.