Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell said the clerk, Jan Bohannon, was charged with felony theft by taking by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Sheriff Tim Burkhalter had asked the GBI to investigate in February after an internal review revealed $1,212.05 was missing from an area accessed only by six employees.
Bohannon, who was hired less than three weeks before the theft, resigned her position Wednesday. Caldwell said she was jailed Thursday pending a $2,400 bond.
Its still an open case so I dont want to talk much about what she told us, but we feel like this was done as one transaction, he said.
Since the theft, the administrative supervisor Lt. Mark Blanton has replaced the lock box with a combination safe that can be opened only by himself and two other supervisors.
Despite the potential for embarrassment, Burkhalter voluntarily announced the discovery of the missing money just as he announced the accidental release, and subsequent recovery, of two inmates during his first year in office. The open communication is in keeping with the new sheriffs 2004 campaign promises, Caldwell said.
An accountability standard
Things like this dont reflect well on us but, at the same time, we know if we set high standards for public accountability it will give us credibility with other things were trying to do in the community, he said. Theres more to the sheriffs office than just arresting people and housing prisoners.
The department runs a number of outreach programs, including elementary school courses, parent-teacher methamphetamine education, Secret Santa and Camp Goodtimes fundraisers and jail ministries and literacy projects.
Details of the activities are spelled out in its Annual Report 2005 which shows a decrease in the employee turnover rate and use-of-force incidents at the jail.
A report is delivered each year to the Floyd County Commission, but this year it also is posted online at www.floydcountyga.org/Sheriff/Sheriff_home.htm and available for viewing at the department and the County Administrative Building.
The sheriffs letter at the beginning is addressed to Floyd County Citizens because thats who we really work for, Caldwell said.