Four county watershed department employees are out of jobs and are under investigation for a fraudulent timekeeping scheme.
According to Ted Rhinehart, the county’s deputy chief operating officer over infrastructure departments, a county timekeeper in the watershed department “was caught charging out more overtime than a few of the employees had actually worked.”
The timekeeper “allegedly [received] money back from the employees who were involved,” Rhinehart said.
“It is my understanding that the police are pressing charges [and] that they have enough evidence,” Rhinehart said.
“The two or three employees that were engaged in that process, I believe, have also been arrested,” Rhinehart said. “They’ve all been terminated.
“That’s been dealt with and we have completed our investigation,” Rhinehart said. “We have isolated the handful of people that were obviously doing something illegal. The district attorney is handling it from there.”
According to Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer, and court records, the watershed employees who were allegedly involved in the scheme include Cynthia Hall, 49, of Norcross.
Hall was the senior payroll personnel technician involved in the scheme. Hall was arrested on Feb. 9 and charged with racketeering, theft by taking, computer trespass, computer forgery and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Hall was released Feb. 14 on a $50,000 bond.
Jarvis Dion Foster, 35, of Tucker, was charged with theft by taking for the offense that occurred in December 2011.
A $3,000 bond was set for Foster, who was arrested Dec. 31 and released on his own recognizance that same day. Foster, a senior crew worker, was terminated Feb. 15.
Anthony Quinn Lee, 34, of Decatur, was arrested March 13 and charged with theft by taking. Lee, a senior crew worker, is out of jail on a $5,000 bond. He resigned on Feb. 20.
A fourth employee implicated in the scheme, Andre Cofer, a senior crew supervisor, was terminated on April 5.
Nicole Marchand, the county’s chief assistant district attorney, would not release any information about the arrests.
“I can only confirm that there is an ongoing, general investigation of the watershed department,” Marchand wrote in an e-mail to The Champion. “This is a pending investigation and we will not release any information regarding it.”