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.
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.
@myNMBPolice has made an arrest pertaining to an investigation regarding the theft of Publix gift cards, which were purchased by the City of North Miami Beach to give away to its residents. Attached is the official press release and the arrest affidavit. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/0IoSxQb7Hc— North Miami Beach PD (@myNMBPolice) May 18, 2023