For the second time this summer, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into money that’s gone missing in the west Georgia city of Bowdon.
In a written statement, Bowdon Mayor Keith Crawford said city clerk Stacy Folds notified administrators of the missing funds early last week. GBI Special Agent Wayne Smith said the clerk confessed to taking $20,000 to $30,000. The money was from fines collected by police and the municipal courts.
Earlier this summer, another city employee was charged with stealing more than $150,000 from the city. Smith said there appears to be no connection between the cases other than how they took the money.
“They were responsible for handling revenue and depositing the revenue,” Smith said. “The two employees were dealing with different pots of money [and] the pots themselves had no connection. But the [employees’] conduct was the same.”
Smith said his Columbus-based regional office is investigating a similar scheme in Grantville in Coweta County. He said such cases are fairly common this time of year as cities complete annual audits and discover irregularities.
“It’s not that unusual for the audit process to indicate that there might be a problem, especially in small municipalities where you only have one or two people that handle everything. There’s just not as many checks and balances there,” Smith said.
Bowdon officials have temporarily outsourced their accounting operations and appointed an interim city clerk.