Background check never completed on employee accused of theft

By: Jessica Floyd Email
By: Jessica Floyd Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 10, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Almost 3,000 people work for the City of Augusta and a background check is supposed to be done on each one of them. But the background check for Katrina Jones was never completed.

She's now accused of stealing $71,000 of your money while working as a clerk for the city landfill. Officials say the money was stolen during a 6-month time period.

"It was her job to basically deliver that to the bank so we handed it to her and told her to take it to the bank and that wasn't being done," says City Administrator Fred Russell.

Instead Jones supposedly pocketed the money. And since the city never completed a background check , they didn't know Jones pled guilty to deposit account fraud, was charged with giving a false name to law enforcement and was convicted of cocaine possession. On top of that, she was on felony probation when she was hired.

The city takes responsibilty.

"Well, it was a mistake. She should not of been hired, but they were not aware of the problems in her background at the time," says Human Resources Director Robby Burns.

Officials say Jones transposed the last four digits of her social security number, so the background report did not match.

The city says they've implemented a new policy to prevent mistakes like this from happening again.

"We have to send a notarized copy of the form to the sheriff's department to do the background checks (on job applicants) and we have to make sure we check the social security card with the form they fill out," said Burns.

Precautions to keep a better tab on who the city hires -- And who handles your tax money.

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  • by Anonymous Location: on Oct 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM
    what I would like to know is who read her back ground check report, and or her job app. ? There can not be two different names on one S S # nor can there be two different S S #s for the same name. Who pray tell is reading the job apps. I wonder about the people who have already been hired that is not doing their jobs. Have they been not checked, and or not trained correctly. God help the city of Augusta and their Department supervisors.
  • by Willie Location: Home on Oct 11, 2007 at 07:03 AM
    Ok, forget the background check, who is the idiot that is suppose to check the bank statements each month? Now after a 3 months someone else beside this young lady should have been paying attention. Why wasn't the bank paying attention as well. What about all the checks that went with the deposits. It seems the City Administrator may need to be audited. How can you keep up with millions of dollars when you can't keep up with $70,000 come on, you obviously weren't checking the bank statements. She may be the scap goat, but she needs to sing like a Canary. Don't take the fall by yourself. Take down management. Ok, one last comment, the Human Resource Director doesn't recieve each application for hire that is the immediate supervisor, manager, etc. responsibility. Firing them all won't solve the problem, making them accountable will, put them on suspension for 3 days with no pay, and let the a City Administrator take 2 weeks off with no pay. He is over worked.
  • by Doug Hixson Location: Augusta on Oct 11, 2007 at 04:43 AM
    Why do we need a new policy. Follow the old policy, and do the damn back ground check.
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