News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, March 7, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A story we broke right here on News 12 has sparked an investigation. The city's legal department is now taking a closer look at documents signed by a woman who claims to live in Hyde Park. The problem is the program director says she doesn't live there and never has.
Belinda Winfrey was 24 hours away from getting a $24,000 check to relocate from Hyde Park.
"It would've been cleared if it had not been for you all checking to see what's going on in the community. I thank you," said Hyde Park resident Joanne Johnson.
"Another person came and told us after seeing your story," said Housing and Urban Development Director Chester Wheeler.
A whistle-blower tipped off Wheeler's staff and they went to work.
"It's unfortunate that these kind of occurrences happen," Wheeler said.
Records show Belinda Winfrey turned in paperwork stating she lives at 2051 Walnut. Winfrey left out the fact that she owns a three-bedroom home on Empress Court. She also turned in documents stating she worked at Johnson's Personal Care home.
News 12 knocked on the door of 2051 Walnut and a man answered the door. He wouldn't give us his name but says he pays rent there. He goes on to say ... so does Winfrey. He applied for the relocation and was denied because he's only been there a year.
Mr. Wheeler says his department will not take these cases lightly.