Three civil servants and an embattled city auditor made May a month for waste, fraud and abuse

WRITER’S NOTE: The following is a monthly compilation of alleged or documented stories about waste, fraud or abuse of taxpayer money or taxpayer-funded resources throughout Georgia. Material was gathered using government documents, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s original reporting and/or previously published news articles.

Where’s the Facepalm Emoji?: Authorities last month arrested a Sale City clerk and charged her with one felony count of stealing thousands of dollars of government funds.

As reported by the Atlanta-based WSB-TV, Kelly Hancock allegedly used a Sale City credit card to buy several personal items. 

“Hancock had been approved to use the card as a part of her job responsibilities as a clerk,” WSB-TV reported

“The total theft was confirmed to be about $15,000 but could increase after an audit of Hancock’s purchases.” 

Stealing from a Noble Cause: Former Floyd County Sheriff’s Sergeant Cody James Waters pleaded guilty last month to stealing from the agency.

This, according to a report from the Rome-based Coosa Valley News.

“Waters, who had been in charge of Floyd County’s anti-drug CHAMP program in local schools, stole nearly $7,000 in funds for the program,” according to the website.

“The thefts reportedly began during the pandemic. Waters pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by taking and making false statements and violation of the oath of office.”

Court officials sentenced Waters to serve three years in prison and 17 years of probation.  

Not Giving it the Old College Try: A former Augusta University employee allegedly stole more than $300,000 from the college during a seven-year time span. 

That former employee, Dawn Gantt, served as the Dean’s Office coordinator for Augusta University’s Dental College of Georgia, according to a statement from Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. 

A Richmond County grand jury indicted Gantt, who was charged with one count of racketeering. The alleged racketeering includes 288 alleged acts of theft.

According to the indictment, Gantt, among other things, paid $441.89 that was not hers to SiriusXM. She also made several ATM cash withdrawals, usually withdrawing sums of $300 at a time. Gantt also spent large sums of money at car dealerships and electronic and furniture stores.  

The Greater the Obstacle, the More Glory in Overcoming it: Atlanta Inspector General Shannon Manigault told City Council members last month that she has too many obstacles that prevent her from doing her job effectively. 

Manigault’s job is to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse within the city government. 

“The Inspector General also claims that access to some data has been revoked and requests for documents have been treated like records requests,” according to WSB-TV

FOX 5 Atlanta reported in May that Manigault upset at least two City Council members for the way she investigated the city’s Human Resource (HR) Commissioner Tarlesha Smith.

“The mayor’s office placed the HR Commissioner on administrative leave last week after the IG’s office concluded Smith created a job for her daughter and tried to fire her daughter’s supervisor when she tried to act against her,” according to the station.

City Council members complained that the media got Manigault’s report on Smith before they did. 

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