November 23 – ALBANY – A 2019 theft case involving misappropriation of funds from the Albany City Court registry could see a major breakthrough, with a potential indictment as early as December.
“We are looking at moving the case forward, maybe during this grand jury session with whatever is in the works,” Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said Tuesday.
The currently constituted grand jury will meet on December 15 and once again before the end of the year, and the case may be presented to it for consideration of the charges.
“If this is all completed as we plan in terms of the general investigation, we are considering submitting it to this grand jury,” Edwards said. “If we don’t, certainly early next year.”
The district attorney’s office is planning a single indictment that will indict four or five former employees of the Municipal Court.
After the embezzlement case came to light in the fall of 2019, Edwards sought help from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Part of the agency’s job was to perform a forensic audit, which can take a long time, to determine the amount of money stolen.
Due to the nature of the flights, exact accounting is not yet available. Tickets for which fines have been paid may not have been recorded.
“One of the things that affects the formal determination of money (is) that there may not be any formal record of the money taken,” Edwards said. “The money may have been taken from a proceeding, and the file never existed. One of the difficulties with this particular investigation is to make sure everything is uprooted.”
The GBI referred all inquiries in the case to Edwards’ office.